The Barr-Reeve School Board meeting was opened for comments Thursday from school patrons and Lana Helms asked about the increase in the property tax statement that she recently received. Helms said it was about a considerable increase from last year.
Superintendent Travis Madison said, “I have had some people asked me about this and our tax rate two years ago (2012) was 68 cents on the assessed evaluation, but went down to 60 cents in 2013 because part of our debt service was paid off. We still have one debt service that will come off in the near future. With the approval of the 35-cent tax referendum last year, although we did not need that much, but we did put on about 16 cents and the county tax went up about 3 cents. So the rate from last year went up from 60 cents to 79 cents,” said Madison.
“We also had additional cuts from the state funding, and so with those cuts, and to keep our programs going at Barr-Reeve, it all adds up. I will tell you that in the past we had some rainy day funds that we were able to use to get by, but we don’t have that anymore. I do think this should level off in the next few years. And, if we are going to keep the same level of programs here at Barr-Reeve, it will take some money to accomplish this, as we are losing more money each year from state funding.”
Board member Scott Lottes added, “This year was bad for those who own farmland, as they were also reassessed and they got hit ever harder and I know how that is.”