One portion of the taxes that Minneapolis property owners pay is going down slightly.
At a special Minneapolis school board meeting this week, board members approved $233 million as the district’s maximum levy for 2020, a 1.48% decrease.
District leaders said the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) used enrollment numbers from two school years ago when the district’s student population was much higher.
“The state overpaid Minneapolis Public Schools last year and they are adjusting for that overpayment this year,” said Ibrahima Diop, the district’s chief financial officer. “That’s why taxpayers will not see an increase in taxes from us next year.”
But state education officials said the levy limit that they calculated for the Minneapolis School District was too high because the enrollment estimates provided by the district were too high.
“MDE has not mistakenly used the wrong year’s enrollment for any of these calculations,” finance official Tom Melcher said. “We used data that the district gave us, and we rely on their expertise.”
The $233 million takes into account the $30 million a year in new voter-approved funding for schools, debt services and community education.
Had the state used the updated enrollment numbers, the district would have proposed a 3% to 5% tax levy increase.
“So we’re saying basically now, ‘Hey, sorry about last year, folks. We’re going to cut you a break on your taxes this year because of that mistake that was made last year,’ ” school board Chairman Nelson Inz said at a recent school board finance committee meeting.
School board members are expected to take final action on the tax levy in December.