Mark Taylor
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The Spring Hill School Board adopted a budget for the 2011-12 school year that decreases the district’s mill levy for the fourth consecutive year.
Board members were shown estimated mill levies for the six Johnson County school districts which showed Spring Hill is the only district expected to decrease its mill levy.
That is despite increased student enrollment and reduced per pupil funding from the state.
“That’s remarkable,” Eric Boyle, board member, said to staff and administration. “This community, our taxpayers should be very proud of you guys.” The board adopted the budget as published with a property tax levy of 65.362 mills.
That represents about a 5 mill drop from 2007-08’s mill rate of 69.913.
One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 in assessed value.
The owner of a $150,000 home will pay about $1,073 in school taxes for the 2011-12 school year.
Doug Schwinn, business manager, said state funding is lower than it was 10 years ago and this year’s state aid equates to a zero percent increase over a 12-year period.
Base state aid per pupil dropped from $4,400 to $4,318 in 2009, which was less than the amount of state aid granted in the 2005-06 school year ($4,257).
In 2010, base state aid per pupil decreased again, to $4,012.
In 2011, base state aid per pupil is down to $3,870, which Schwinn said is the lowest level since the 1999-2000 school year.
The bulk of the budget (55 percent) goes toward instruction costs, including teacher salaries.
“We tried to put the majority of our money into our staff,” Superintendent Bart Goering said.  “We have attracted some really great teachers and staff members and we’re really proud of them. We’ve tried to minimize the impact to taxpayers while still maintaining a really good school system.”
The district’s assessed valuation is expected to increase slightly next school year to $123.2 million. The 2010-11 assessed valuation was 122.070 million, a more than $5 million drop from $127.733 million in 2009-10.