Eden Prairie homeowners can expect the school portion of their property taxes to decrease slightly in 2021. This is occurring despite an approved levy increase of 2.14% by the school board at its Dec. 14 meeting.
Taxpayers can thank an overall increase of $462 million in the valuation of all properties in the district for spreading tax payments over a broader base, resulting in small decreases for most residential properties, according to Jason Mutzenberger, executive director of business services of the Eden Prairie School District.
“In our school district we saw a lot of increases in housing, commercial and industrial property,” Mutzenberger said. “That helps everybody that owns property as it respreads that property tax amount across those new amounts. And that can often lead to a decrease in property taxes.”
School-related property taxes in Eden Prairie are estimated to go down by $6 per year for a $250,000 home, $10 for a $400,000 home, $12 for a $550,000 home, and $15 for a $750,000 home, Mutzenberger said.
The total district levy is $49.3 million, an increase of just over $1 million over the previous year.
Facility maintenance increases
An increase of $1.79 million for long term facility maintenance (LTFM) is the primary reason for the overall expenditure increase. LTFM includes deferred capital and maintenance, health and safety expenses, and increased school facilities access, according to Mutzenberger.
An increase of $287,829 in capital projects, in the form of a technology levy, also contributed to the increase.
Reductions in principal and interest debt payments ($532,655) and general operating expenses ($140,151), the final bond payment for elementary school remodeling ($120,121), and the end of a lease agreement on the district’s Education Center ($361,801) offset a portion of those increases.
The district’s annual general fund budget for 2021 is $116 million, which is paid for by aid from the State of Minnesota (72%), property taxes (23%), federal aid (2%), and the remainder from student activities, student fees and other sources.
About 80% of the district’s general fund expenditures are in the form of staff salaries and benefits, Mutzenberger said.
Eden Prairie school property taxes average $1,696 per year, compared to an average of $1,894 for nearby western suburbs, and a state average of $1,729, Mutzenberger said.
The City of Eden Prairie has approved a 3.2% property tax increase for 2021. Hennepin County’s tax levy will remain unchanged.