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Greenfield residents back school budget

Sept. 11, 2012

Greenfield - After a public hearing at which no one spoke, the 28 residents at the Greenfield School District annual meeting Monday night unanimously approved a $25 million property tax levy for the 2012-13 school year.

That levy, up 0.26 percent from the previous year, will support a nearly $45.6 million budget that's 0.02 percent lower than 2011-12 budget. The general fund, basically the operating budget, is less than 0.1 percent higher than last year.

School officials warned that the news may not be entirely good for taxpayers if assessed values fall. If assessed property values remain stable, school taxes will go up only 0.26 percent, said Kristen Kollath, director of business services. But if assessed values should fall by 3 percent, for example, school taxes would go up 3.36 percent, she said.

Helping to keep the levy down is a savings of about $80,799 in capital spending. That's tied to the fact that expenses from work at Greenfield High School are winding down.

Savings in that and other areas enabled the district for the second year to put money into individual employees' health reimbursement accounts to help them deal with the much higher deductibles they now face. The infusions of $1,500 for a single plan and $3,000 for a family plan will help offset deductibles of $2,000 for a single plan and $4,000 for a family plan.

The contributions will bring the out-of-pocket cost for deductibles to $500 on the single plan and $1,000 for the family plan. The board gave the same contributions last year.

The budget also increases the number of sections at Glenwood Elementary School, where enrollment increases are expected. School officials want to avoid having class sizes in the mid-30s.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

AT A GLANCE

Greenfield School District budget information:

Property tax levy for the 2012-13 school year: $25,023,908

Change from previous levy: up 0.26 percent

Total budget for 2012-13: $45,560,694

Change from previous year: down 0.02 percent

General fund (operating) budget: $35,680,385

Change from previous year: up 0.1 percent

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