The Minneapolis school board voted 7-1 Tuesday to impose a 4 percent higher tax levy in 2013, raising the property tax on a median value $171,000 home by about $71 in 2013.
The levy of $172.4 million supports both the remainder of the current school year's budget and part of the budget yet to be adopted for the following fiscal year. The city is scheduled to act Wednesday on its levy.
The proposal levies about $1 million to pay for a state-required $6.2 million make-up pension contribution for non-teaching employees. That means the district will need to dip into its hefty budget balance or cut other spending to pay the bill. The proposal also trims back spending for the initial year of a $50 million-a-year building renovation program the board adopted earlier.
Chairman Alberto Monserrate cast the only vote against the levy, saying he'll keep doing so until there's more genuine interaction with the public so that it understands the taxing and spending choices the board is making.
Four people spoke against the proposed levy, arguing that class sizes are too big, that the district should have converted a closed building for its new headquarters, and that it exceeds other districts in per-student spending. Board members responded that an older district has more building upkeep needs and that the state has shifted the responsibility for funding locals schools to property taxpayers.