The St. Paul school board is eyeing a potential boost in the district's property tax levy of up to 5% in 2020.
Preliminary numbers were presented to board members Tuesday before what could be a volatile fall when it comes time to project where property tax bills are headed in St. Paul.
Ramsey County was first out of the gate in proposing a 4.75% increase in its share of the tax bill for 2020.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter then suggested raising the city's tax levy by 4.85%.
But a Minnesota Supreme Court decision has forced a vote on the city's garbage plan, and that's led City Council members to weigh setting the city's proposed tax levy hike as high as 23% in case organized trash is voted down and the city has to pay about $27.1 million to haulers.
School districts, cities and counties set ceilings in September for how much they may raise in taxes the following year — figures that can be lowered but not increased when they take final action on their respective tax levies in December.
Other forces affect individual tax bills, too, including how much a property's market value changes compared with those of other parcels and how much each taxing jurisdiction receives from the metrowide fiscal disparities pool.
Among the neighborhoods that could be hit hardest as result of rising property values are Dayton's Bluff, Frogtown, Payne-Phalen, West Seventh and the North End.
St. Paul Public Schools was a winner in terms of its share of fiscal disparities revenue. It is expected to receive $38.6 million in 2020, up $6.1 million from the current year, or an 18.9% increase.
Unlike the city and county, the school district does not specify how dollars are spent at the school or program levels until the spring.
The school board is expected to set the district's levy limit on Sept. 24.
Also Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to raise its $10,800-a-year salary to $20,000 a year for the chairperson and $18,000 a year for the board's other six members.
A committee presentation in August showed board pay in St. Paul being outpaced by a majority of Anoka-Hennepin and Minneapolis board members, who make, respectively, $14,400 and $20,000. The changes for St. Paul take effect in January.
St. Paul board members also are eligible for health insurance coverage worth $9,600 annually, Kevin Burns, the district's communications director, said Tuesday.
Board Member Steve Marchese said he viewed board salary as an equity issue. Some people, he said, might be discouraged to run based on the current pay level.
Marie Schrul, the district's chief financial officer, has said the increases can be covered by funding that went unspent in last year's school board budget.