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Published September 10, 2013, 06:03 PM

Despite increase, school property taxes actually amount to less than previous year

Monday night, the school board defeated a highly criticized 28.6 percent tax increase. But the board voted to raise taxes 21.6 percent. Even though taxes will now be raised more than 20 percent, taxpayers will actually pay less than what they paid last year in school property taxes.

By: Michael Yoshida, WDAZ

Monday night, the school board defeated a highly criticized 28.6 percent tax increase. But the board voted to raise taxes 21.6 percent. Even though taxes will now be raised more than 20 percent, taxpayers will actually pay less than what they paid last year in school property taxes.

The increase is compared to what taxpayers were hoping to pay following an act by the state legislature aimed at reducing property taxes. For the average home in Grand Forks, the new plan will result in 670 dollars in taxes, a number that is 247 dollars less than what homeowners paid last year. That's a decrease of nearly 30 percent.

The approved plan will result in more than 1 million dollar deficit spending by the district causing it to spend more than it's taking in. School officials say they'll have to address this by constraining costs.

Administrators have not put a plan out yet, but say this could mean cutting discretionary spending, hiring freezes and professional development programs.

The cuts could affect para professionals, travel expenses or professional training. At last night's meeting many people thought the district should hold off and deal with the deficit itself -- not putting the burden on to the public.

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