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Maple Dale-Indian Hill District Residents Getting Some Tax Relief

Early numbers show district's levy to decrease by 4.19 percent this fall.

Despite a cut in state aid of $350,000, has tightened its belt and found ways to keep a balanced budget.

Gary Swalve, the district's business manager, said the projected tax rate for the district is $6.67 per $1,000 of equalized value, which would be a 30-cent drop from last year. The total tax levy would be set at $6.8 million, which is a 4.19 percent decrease from last year's $7.1 million levy.

On Wednesday, the School Board approved the $7.4 million budget for 2011-12, which is up 2.4 percent from the $7.2 million budget for 2010-11.

After their first draft of the budget, Swalve said district officials were able to go back and squeeze between $160,000 to $200,000 out in additional savings. But it wasn't cutting teachers or major changes to the classroom that snagged the savings.

"I went back through every line item in the budget," Swalve said. He said he took a look at things like some of the contracted services and instead of budgeting on the high side, took a five-year average.

"I'm making a couple gambles on those, but am fairly confident on the majority of those that we’ll be OK," he said.

Swalve said the increase in budget, despite the decrease in the levy and rate, is due to a teacher contract which runs through June 30, 2013, locking in their salaries. He also said the district will find some savings from energy efficiency projects completed with referendum money.

The 2011-12 budget will be reviewed and finalzed in October after enrollment numbers are solidified.

"Final aid certification numbers come from DPI (Department of Public Instructions) Oct. 15, then there's a special meeting immediately after that to adjust to the exact levy," Swalve said.

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