SOUTH METRO

Lakeville, Rosemount ready tax levy requests

A levy referendum in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District is a near certainty this fall, judging from the comments of school board members last week.

A formal proposal hasn't come to board members yet, but they appear united in seeking as large a tax increase as state law allows. The increase would raise $512 per pupil and cost the owner of a home valued at $238,500 roughly $280 next year. The district is likely to ask for 10-year levy authority.

With the state facing a projected two-year budget deficit of $5.8 billion, district leaders fear cuts in state education funding of 5 to 10 percent.

If that happens, they say they may have to cut between $4.5 million and $11.6 million from the district's 2011-12 budget, even if the tax increase is approved. Without a tax hike, the cuts could range from $20 million to more than $27 million.

The Lakeville School District also will seek approval of a tax increase from voters at the Nov. 2 election.

In a unanimous vote last week, the school board approved three questions that will appear on the ballot.

The first question would partially renew an expiring levy, asking for $236 per pupil. The second asks for an additional $524 per pupil. The first question is tax-neutral, while the second would increase taxes by $299 on a $250,000 home. Both questions would give the district 10-year levy authority.

The third question asks voters to approve a one-year capital projects levy that would raise about $940,000 to replace old computers.

Sarah Lemagie

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