The Eden Prairie School Board will discuss the district’s five-year financial forecast and a possible 2022 levy referendum at a workshop following its annual organizational meeting Jan. 3.
Earlier in 2021, the board discussed and eventually dismissed pursuing a levy referendum in 2021, but most directors acknowledged that one might be needed in 2022 to maintain the district’s financial condition.
Superintendent Josh Swanson told the board that long-term financial stability of the district might require such action. The district is currently in the eighth year of its last referendum that voters approved in 2014.
Projected 2.23% tax levy increase
The board conducted its annual public hearing Dec. 13 for taxes payable in 2022. After receiving no public input, the board approved a $50.4 million tax levy for fiscal year 2022-23, a 2.23% increase over the previous year.
The district’s final 2022-23 budget will be set in June 2022.
The City of Eden Prairie’s levy for the same period will increase by 4.7%, and Hennepin County’s by 3.5%.
Executive Director of Business Services Jason Mutzenberger told the board that several factors impact individual taxpayers’ school taxes, including:
- Changes in value of individual property
- Changes in total value of all property in the district (which increased by more than $326 million since 2020)
- Increases or decreases in levy amounts caused by changes in state funding formulas, local needs and costs, and referendums, among other factors
The district’s general fund, 85.5% of which consists of employee salaries and benefits, is projected to increase by $2.1 million when the final budget is approved in June 2022.
That increase is partially offset by a $1.07 million decrease in debt service, resulting from refinancing of long-term facilities maintenance debt to lower interest rates in 2020, Mutzenberger said.
The tax levy increase would result in an annual increase of $3 for a median priced Eden Prairie homesteaded residence valued at $430,000, according to estimates by the district’s financial advisors. The estimate assumes a 1.0% increase in property values from 2021 to 2022.
The school board meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3 at the Administrative Services Center, 8100 School Road. The workshop begins shortly after the regular business meeting. The meeting is streamed here.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 24.