McPherson school district announces 2015-16 budget

By Chris Swick
August 11, 2015

The McPherson school board did what they promised when they asked USD 418 patrons to raise the Local Option Budget from 30 to 33 percent, as the mill levy not only didn't rise, it fell to it's lowest level since 2007.

USD 418 Adminstration presented the budget to the Board of Education Monday night, and Business Manager Gordon Mohn said that the mill levy for 2015-2016 is projected to be 50.490, just about a half a mill lower than last year and the lowest since it was 49.442 in 2006-2007.

However, Mohn pointed out that doesn't necessarily mean that taxes won't go up, as the assessed valuation for the district jumped up $20 thousand dollars from last year.

“Someone's property is valued at a higher price than it was a year ago, or we have additional property,” Mohn said. “So, I'm a home owner, and my house is assessed at $200,000. The county assessor sets another price and, all of a sudden, $220,000. The school district lowered my mill levy, but my tax bill went up because the value of my home went up.”

Total expenditures and transfers for 2015-2016 are projected to be $17.47 million, which looks like a steep jump from last year's $13.57 million until you break down the general fund a bit.

“We look at the total expenditures of $17.4 million, we subtract out of that...supplemental general state aid,” Mohn said. “That's the state aid we get in the LOB. Comes to the general fund and is moved into the LOB. So we keep track of it there. We spend that money, but we spend over in the LOB, we don't spend it in the general fund.”

Other 'flow-through' monies that impact the total budget are KPERS aid and special education aid inflation. That leaves USD 418 with $13.6 million in actuality, which is only an increase of just over $43,000 from last year.

The budget will be published in the coming week in the McPherson Sentinel. A budget hearing will be held prior to the next USD 418 board of education meeting on August 24. That hearing is slated for 6:45 p.m.