FDCSD levy rate to drop

$69M budget set for local schools

-Messenger file photo
Students exit Fort Dodge Senior High School on a recent school day. The Fort Dodge Community School District will have a roughly $69 million budget in 2024-2025 that reduces the property tax levy rate.

The property tax rate levied by the Fort Dodge Community School District will go down for the sixth year in a row starting in July.

That rate will be $15.19 per $1,000 of taxable value when the next fiscal year begins July 1.

In the 2019 fiscal year, it was $16.77 per $1,000 of taxable value. It has declined annually since that high mark.

The roughly $69 million budget provides money for a 4 percent raise for teachers, counselors and school nurses that was included in a recently approved contract with the Fort Dodge Education Association.

It also includes sufficient funding to pay for the Dodger Stadium renovation project with cash on hand.

The budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2025,, was approved by the district’s Board of Education last month.

The budget calls for spending $69,187,754.

It anticipates revenue of $67,411,741.

A sizable portion of the district’s revenue, about $23 million, will come from the state government in the form of what is called state foundation aid. The district gets about $7,800 per student from the state government.

The property tax rate is divided into these categories:

• $8.91 for the general fund, which pays the majority of the district’s expenses.

• $2.48 to pay off general obligation bond debt

• $1.21 for the instructional support levy

• $1.13 for the management levy, which pays for things like insurance

• $1.13 for the physical plant and equipment levy approved by voters

• 33 cents for the physical plant and equipment levy implemented by the local school board

That portion of the levy designated for paying off general obligation bonds is being used to retire a 2016 bond, according to Brandon Hansel, executive director of financial services for the district. He said that bond issue paid for building the current Duncombe Elementary School and the auxiliary gym at Fort Dodge Senior High School. It also paid for security enhancements at the high school.

Hansel said the local school board only controls about 25 percent of the property tax rate.

He said state law dictates about 56 percent of the rate, while decisions by the voters set the remaining 19 percent.

In addition to the foundation aid and other money from the state government, the district receives funding from the statewide 1 percent sales tax for school infrastructure. Hansel said the district will receive about $3.8 million from that sales tax in 2024-2025.


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