NEW RICHMOND -- Following the district administrator’s report and a presentation of the 2019-2020 budget at the New Richmond School District’s 2019 annual meeting, residents voted to approve a $17,113,206 tax levy. That is an increase of 7.92% from last year. The new a mill rate is 9.89, a decrease of .191 from last year. Monday's was held in the high school auditorium.

“Student growth has averaged 1.5% for 10 years. This year it is 3.9%. This is part of the reason for the increase in the tax levy. The other part is that state aids are based on property wealth,” district business manager Brian Johnston said. “As our property wealth increases we receive less aid from the state and have to make up the difference through the property tax levy.”

The $17,113,206 tax levy is divided between three sources, with $9,320,081 going to the general fund, $7,708,125 to debt service and $85,000 to community education. Last year’s tax levy was $15,858,037.

As for the mill rate, residents will see a $19 decrease per $100,000 of assessed property value in property taxes.

As of the Sept. 16 annual meeting, the district had an enrollment of 3,420.

Major budget items on the 2019-2020 budget include:

  • A $25 per student increase in state per pupil aid ($85,625)

  • An increase in revenue limit of $175 per FTE ($599,375)

  • A $22 per student increase to low revenue limit for low spending districts ($75,350)

  • An increase in revenue limit for 54 FTE pupil increase

  • 2.44% increase in staff wages

  • 4.0% increase in health insurance

  • A full time high school biology teacher

  • A full time kindergarten teacher

  • A full time first grade teacher

  • Three full time special education teachers

  • A full time school psychologist

  • Reduced four full time special education paraprofessionals

  • An added 4K paraprofessional

  • Added required 4K busing

In addition to the tax levy and mill rate, the school district approved the following resolutions:

  • To authorize the School Board to make temporary loans for current operation according to statutory requirements.

  • To authorize the sale of school property not needed for school purposes.

  • To establish salaries for School Board members. Currently members of the Board of Education are paid a salary of $3,000 per year. In addition to a salary, board members shall be paid a per diem of $40 for each portion – a portion of a day being five or less hours – spent on school district business such as training, conferences and attendance at regional, statewide and national meetings. For each full day – a full day being more than five hours of attendance – a per diem of $80 shall be paid.

  • To authorize the reimbursement of Board members for actual and necessary expenses incurred when traveling in performance of duties.

  • To authorize the establishment of accident insurance for students.

The final item the district approved was the date and time for the 2020 annual meeting: 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at a location to be determined.