Leavenworth Board of Education members are proposing a reduction in the school district’s property tax levy for the 2019-2020 school year.

Leavenworth Board of Education members are proposing a reduction in the school district’s property tax levy for the 2019-2020 school year.

When they met Tuesday, board members reviewed the proposed budget for the new school year, which calls for a mill levy reduction of 1.134 mills.

The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.

The proposed budget would reduce the total mill levy for the district from 59.331 mills to 58.197 mills.

Board members have not formally approved the budget. But they have scheduled a public hearing on the budget for 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the district’s administrative office, 200 N. Fourth St.

Board members will be able to approve the budget at the conclusion of the public hearing.

Board members authorized the publication of an official notice of the public hearing when they met Tuesday.

Publication of the notice with accompanying budget information sets maximum limits for the 2019-2020 budget. But board members still would have the option of reducing the budget during the Aug. 21 public hearing.

While the mill levy will decrease, the proposed budget shows an increase in expenditures for the new school year to a total of $60.3 million.

Superintendent Mike Roth said approval of the budget would authorize the district to spend up to the budgeted amount.

“This is just giving the board budget authority,” he said.

Last year, board members proposed a 2018-2019 budget with net expenditures of $57.022 million. But actual expenditures for the 2018-2019 school year totaled $48.81 million.

Board member Loyal Torkelson asked why residents’ property taxes go up when local taxing entities reduce their mill levies or keep them flat. Torkelson was told this was the result of increases in property valuation.

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