Gardner Edgerton’s school district has published a budget indicating a slight mill decrease.
“It will be the fifth year in a row for a mill levy decrease, down from 69.185 to 67.777,” said Jeremy McFadden, USD 231 director of finance. “ I have checked several historical budgets and do not recall seeing a mill levy this low, so we are excited to be able to lower it once again. “
“Assessed valuation increased from $264.9 million to $273.6 million, or a 3.3 percent increase, which is tentative,” McFadden continued. “However, the final valuation has historically decreased between this initial estimate and the final valuations in October.”
For the last 2 years, the communities of Gardner and Edgerton have supported an increased local option budget and a bond issue to expand building and program capacity at GEHS.
“ Despite the changing landscape in school finance through the block grant, the school district is committed to a flat mill rate each year,” McFadden said. “Our goal is to find ways to lower the mill rate whenever possible to help offset the impact of valuation increases our taxpayers may experience.”
The most recent mill levy reduction was the result of the district lowering the bond and interest reserves.
“Our hope is that taxpayers are happy to see the school district follow through on our commitment to not raise the mill rate, while at the same time finding the resources needed to serve the students, families, and staff of a rapidly growing school district,” McFadden said. “Under the current board’s oversight, the school district has added over 60 certified teaching positions since 2014, with 450 teachers under contract for 2016-17.  The local mill levy under their watch has dropped from 79.170 mills to 67.777 mills.   Generally, we think that is what the average taxpayer wants to see from the school district.”
All budget documents are available online for public inspection prior to the budget hearing.
The budget approval process along with important dates were:
July 21, Budget approved by Finance Committee for presentation to the Board of Education.
July 25, Approval to publish budget (Code 99) in the Gardner News for a 10-day period for public review.
July 27, Wednesday edition of Gardner News publishes the budget and begins 10-day period for public review.
Upcoming dates are:
Aug. 8, (BOE Meeting) – Public Hearing and Board of Education approval of published budget.
Aug. 25, Approved budget is due for submission to KSDE and the Johnson County Tax Administration Office.