Proposed school tax rate increase at 30 cents, for now

The property tax rate in Marshalltown for the school district is proposed to increase by 30 cents per $1,000 valuation, but uncertainty still surrounds where the rate will eventually land.

Kevin Posekany, director of business operations with the school district, presented the Marshalltown School Board with the 2013-14 proposed budget for the district. It includes a tax rate of $17.84 per $1,000 valuation, up from the current rate of $17.54.

Posekany said this new rate will be enacted if the state funding per pupil, otherwise known as allowable growth, does not increase. The Legislature has yet to set this funding.

“There’s a lot more unknowns in this budget than we’ve had in the past,” Posekany said.

All indications are allowable growth will go up in some form and Posekany expects to bring the tax rate down accordingly and hopefully near or below the current $17.54 rate.

“This is a high mark,” Posekany said of the $17.84 rate. “We will reduce that down.”

The budget was proposed for discussion only Monday and will be brought back for a public hearing and board approval at the next meeting, which is at 5 p.m. April 1 at district offices.

In other board action, a new truck to haul school lunches around the district was approved for purchase from O’Halloran’s in Altoona for $80,570. It will replace a 1994 truck and transports lunches from the Marshalltown High School kitchen to the elementary schools.

The board also learned of a special education bus purchase. The used 2004 bus will cost the district $22,000 and was below the monetary threshold requiring board approval.

The board also approved several cost increases for the all season MHS activity tickets. An adult activity pass will move from $80 to $90 and an MHS student activity ticket will go from $40 to $45. MHS Principal Aiddy Phomvisay said the increase in fuel costs was one of the reasons for the activity tickets increase.

The board accepted a $5,000 donation from RS Stover Company for the Project Lead the Way curriculum at MHS, following suit with the donations from several other companies in town.