While the tax rate will likely drop slightly next year, due to rising home values, residents in the Oregon School District will probably pay a bit more in school taxes next year.
Unanimously and without comment, district electors approved the tax rate, school board salaries and a board reapportionment plan at Monday night’s annual budget hearing/public meeting. The board is set to vote on the final budget next month.
The projected mill rate – subject to change with the final student enrollment count – is $11.15 for every $1,000 of assessed value, down from last year’s rate of $11.38. That would mean the owner of a $200,000 home would pay $2,230 in school taxes.
While that would mean a drop of around $46 on that home, property values increased by about 6 percent around the county, which could still mean an increase, though it will vary by municipality. Growth is expected to dip slightly, from 7.9 % last year to 6.5% this year.
District business manager Andy Weiland, who gave a financial report on the budget, said district officials are still working on final numbers, which will be available after the “third Friday” student enrollment counts taken last week are tallied.
“That is a main driver in your budget,” he said. “We have an estimate – we think it’s a fairly conservative estimate – but we’re double checking all of those things in the next couple weeks, to bring this to the board in October to pass tax levy.”
Prior to the voting, superintendent Brian Busler gave a brief “state of the district” address, talked about five board priorities for the next school year: “The Path Forward” paper and personalized learning initiatives, the new elementary school, the teacher compensation plan, equity initiatives and mental health/positive student behaviors.
“Ten years ago, we really didn’t talk too much about mental health,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the communities we live in and society as a whole. We have invested over $800,000 in mental health services over the last four or five years, and that investment goes directly to young people that need support in order to be successful at school.”
Busler said after a rainy spring caused a few delays, construction on the new elementary school in Fitchburg is “on schedule and on budget” to open in July. He said more than 100 names for the school have been submitted, with board members set to select several finalists for students to vote on next month.