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Albany school district ups tax rate slightly
ALBANY - Albany School District's 2014-15 budget shows its tax rate for next year is expected to be about $12.25 per $1,000 of property value, up 4 cents from $12.21 last year.

The estimated rate is calculated on the same amount of equalized property value as last year. Property values in the district last year totaled about $210 million.

The new rate means a property owner will pay next year about $1,838 in school taxes on a $150,000 house, about $6 more than this year. The owner of $250,000 of property will pay $3,062, or about $11 more.

The district is levying about $2.57 million through property tax revenue, just $7,800, or 0.3 percent, more than it did for the 2013-14 school budget.

Of the levied amount, the general fund will use $2.23 million, which is $46,000, or 2.1 percent, less than the previous year. Debt service will need $442,000, up $73,800, or 20 percent, more than the previous year. The Community Service Fund will not receive any tax revenue this time around; it received $20,000 in 2013-14.

General state aid to the district is expected to be about $2.44 million, which is about $94,800, or 4 percent, more than the district received last year. Categorical state aid for specific programs will be about $87,000, about $32,700 or 60.2 percent more than in 2013-14.

DPI special project grants are increasing $39,200 compared to 2013-14. The district is looking at $269,200, 17 percent more than last year.

Medical service reimbursement is expected to be $45,000, or $49,000 lower.

Compared to last year, the district is beginning the year with its general fund balance $158,000 lower than in 2013. Its reserved and designated fund balances are also $60,000 lower.

Overall, general fund revenue is expected to be up just 1.28 percent, or about $67,000.

The expenditure column is $31,000 less than last year, just 0.58 percent lower, with $5.38 million for general education spending.

The district lowered funds to vocational curriculum by 8.6 percent or $25,000; co-curricular activities by 5.3 percent or $10,000; gifted and talented by 97 percent or $29,000; and undifferentiated curriculum by 12 percent or $80,800. Undifferentiated curriculum retains $597,000; gifted and talented is left with just $800; co-curricular holds on to $180,800; and vocational keeps $265,000.

The regular curriculum funding was increased by $99,400 or 8.8 percent, to $1.22 million.

School building administration and business administration funds were lower this year by 2.4 and 1.1 percent, respectively, to end at $258,000 and $653,000. General administration was up just 0.1 percent or $300, to $324,800.

The district plans to spend $595,000 for instructional services, 14.6 percent or $76,000 more than last year.

The district will pay out $461,000 in debt service for 2014-15. Community Service Fund expects to spend $25,400.

The district held its annual meeting Aug. 11.