On Monday, the Roland-Story school board approved the budget for the 2019 fiscal year, and the result is a drop in the district’s anticipated tax rate to $13.87 per $1,000 valuation. That’s a 40 cent decrease from the fiscal year 2018 rate of $14.27.


“That’s a pretty considerable tax rate decrease,” said Superintendent Matt Patton, during the public hearing portion of the board meeting.


Patton attributed the rate decrease to a increase in the taxable valuation for the school district as a whole. The taxable valuation for the Roland-Story school district is $316.5 million, which is an increase of about $16.4 million from last year.


“This is a significant increase and will have a positive impact on lowering the overall school tax rate for our local taxpayers,” Patton said.


The estimated tax rate includes the Instructional Support Levy, the Cash Reserve Levy, the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, and the Management Levy, along with the tax rate for long-term bond repayment.


“The total requested in the Cash Reserve Levy is $78,620. This is the maximum amount allowed by Iowa code,” Patton said.


The Debt Service Levy will be $706,600 as the school district continues to repay the 2017 general obligation bonds for the renovation and construction of district facilities.


The Management Levy amount will be $250,000. PPEL will continue with a voter-approved $1.34 and a board-approved 33 cents, which generate a combined total of $576,286 for the district.


The Instructional Support Levy will amount to $525,542. The total requested income surtax rate will be 8 percent, which includes 6 percent for instructional support and 2 percent for PPEL.


The budget maximized the school district’s spending authority, which is similar to a credit limit. “As we have discussed in the past, we will maximize our spending authority in the budget and hopefully avoid the need to amend the budget at a later day,” Patton said.