Millard school board members voted to lower the district’s tax levy Tuesday night.

Several board members said they were making good on a commitment not to reap a windfall from the 2017 levy override election.

“This is a promise we made to our taxpayers when we asked for the levy override, that we would be good fiscal managers of the levy,” said Mike Pate, board president.

Despite the levy drop, the district will spend more money next year on operations, and some property owners will pay higher property taxes to the district.

The board made use of a 5.18% increase in property valuations and a boost in state aid to lower the total tax levy, reducing it by 2.5 cents.

That dropped the levy from $1.251 to $1.226 per $100 of property valuations.

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At the lower rate, the owner of a $200,000 house, whose valuation stayed the same, would see a $50 drop in taxes to the district.

But it will be a different story for property owners who saw a markup in valuation.

An owner whose house was increased in value by the district average will see a $77 increase.

The board approved a $240.8 million general-fund budget, up $7.1 million or 2.95%.

The board is using 2.8 cents of levy-override authority, officials said.

In November 2017, almost two-thirds of Millard voters approved the levy override. The vote authorized the board members to levy up to 9 cents per $100 of tax valuation beyond the state-imposed $1.05 levy limit for general fund expenditures.

Board member Mike Kennedy said the board cut the district’s levy while keeping the budget increase to 3%.

“I know there’s a lot of naysayers in Lincoln who say as soon as you let a public school board have an extra dime, they’re going to take it and spend it,” Kennedy said. “And we didn’t do that. We’re reasonable.”

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Joe covers education for The World-Herald, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. Phone: 402-444-1077.

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