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Published August 26, 2013, 05:44 PM

Grand Forks School District opens meeting to public concerns

The Grand Forks School District will respond to questions on its budget and proposed property tax increase at Monday night's school board meeting. The school board has been under public scrutiny for the proposed 28.6 percent property tax rate increase, but school officials say the measure is necessary to soak up its six million dollar deficit.

The Grand Forks School District will respond to questions on its budget and proposed property tax increase at Monday night's school board meeting. The school board has been under public scrutiny for the proposed 28.6 percent property tax rate increase, but school officials say the measure is necessary to soak up its six million dollar deficit.

The meeting starts at 6 pm, and Superintendent Larry Nybladh says the public is encouraged to attend and make their voices heard with questions and concerns on the budget and property tax levy. Nybladh says the board will discuss and most likely approve a document that will help the public understand what factors into decisions behind the budget and tax levy. The proposed 28.6 percent increase comes after a property tax relief measure was approved by the state legislature this year. Nybladh says the school district needs to balance its budget and keep up with expanding enrollment. The school district receives 67 percent of its budget from the state, a 10 percent increase from last year. Nybladh says it's a good that more money is coming from the state for the sake of tax payers.

"I think the legislature was very benevolent and I think locally the issue is what do we do to fix our defecit in concert or in light of the extra effort from our legislature to try and address property taxes," said Nybladh.

Nybladh also says the school board will take any public input from tonight's meeting into its next meeting September 9. At that meeting the board will make a decision on the level of and the local property tax levy.

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