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St. Paul schools unveil 2019 property-tax plan

September 12, 2018

The St. Paul School District laid out a property-tax proposal Tuesday sealing the likelihood of widespread increases for city homeowners in 2019.

How hefty the eventual bills will be, however, will be determined by voters in November.

The proposal presented to school board members on Tuesday would see the district increasing its tax levy by 16.4 percent in 2019 provided voters approve a $475 per student funding request the school system is placing on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The districts levy plan is the last to be released by the citys three major taxing jurisdictions.

Ramsey County proposed a biennial budget a year ago that called for 4.3 percent levy increases in both 2018 and 2019.

Last month, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter forwarded to the City Council a 2019 budget proposal that included an 11.5 percent increase in the citys tax levy.

How much the three entities levy and how much individuals pay are not the same thing, however. Dont add up those percentages, in other words. Tax bills also are influenced by market value changes.

Last month, Chris Samuel, the countys auditor/treasurer, told City Council members that the owners of median-valued homes in the Frogtown, Daytons Bluff, Payne/Phalen and West Side neighborhoods were at risk of seeing the biggest percentage increases in property taxes.

He also projected a potential tax bill for the citys $186,200 median-valued home based on the city and county proposals alone. If one were to assume a 7.1 percent increase in the homes market value, he said, the total taxes for city and county services for that homeowner would rise by $129, or 5.1 percent, he said.

The Nov. 6 ballot proposal seeking to boost the districts annual operating levy by $475 per student would raise $18.6 million annually.

But, if that request is approved, the school systems 16.4 percent levy increase would include more than just the $18.6 million. The total amount of money generated would be about $25.5 million, with the balance going to cover some operating, facilities and pension costs.

A $25.5 million levy increase would find the homeowner in Samuels example paying an additional $184.76 in school district taxes in 2019, district estimates show.

If voters were to reject the $18.6 million funding proposal, the districts levy increase would be 4.4 percent instead, and would cost the owner of the $186,200 median-valued home about $49 in 2019, Marie Schrul, the districts chief financial officer, said Tuesday.

The proposal before voters aims to fund new strategic-plan initiatives, among other goals.

Anthony Lonetree 612-673-4109

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