Careful spending pays off for taxpayers

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

It’s not often a government body cuts taxes, but that’s what happened at Monday’s meeting of the New Prague Area School Board. Following its state-mandated Truth in Taxation hearing, the board approved a 2019 property tax levy of $13.37 million. That is a reduction of $56,299 from 2018, or 0.42 percent.

It’s not a significant amount compared to the district’s overall budget, but it is significant in that for the first time in five years, the local levy has gone down. That means many - but not all - property owners will see a reduction in the school district’s share of property taxes… how much the property taxes change is dependent on any changes in value of the property. With city, township and county taxes added in, the total amount of property taxes will still be going up.

There are a number of reasons the levy will be going down, including an increase in enrollment, increased special education funding and frugal spending on the part of the district - the 2017-18 audit showed that revenues were higher and expenditures were lower than projected.

Elected officials at all levels of local government are in the midst of setting their final property tax levies for the coming year, and all are mindful of keeping tax increases to a minimum. Last week the New Prague City Council made adjustments to their 2019 budget to bring the levy down from what had been proposed in September, and county officials are also working to keep increases to a minimum.

In a growing community that requires more and more services, increased government spending is inevitable. But it’s good that our elected officials are being frugal with our tax dollars.

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