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KEARNEY — School district patrons in the Kearney district will pay a lower tax levy rate in 2019 after the Kearney School Board approved dropping the rate 13 cents below last year's.

The total rate for 2019 is $5.2144 per $100 of assessed valuation. The amount includes $4.0242 for operations and $1.1902 for debt service.

“The levy projections are based on a total assessed valuation, sum of real estate and personal property, equaling $395,854,491 including new construction,” states the board levy notice on the board's site accessible through www.ksdr1.net.

Assessed valuation of property in the district increased nearly $30 million from 2018. New construction totals more than $10.5 million of the total.

New revenue for the district from new construction is estimated for the year to be $422,972. In addition, new revenue from property reassessment is estimated at $301,224. Total budgeted property tax revenues based on the year's levy rate and including funds for debt service are estimated at $20,641,437, an increase of more than $1 million, according to the board's levy rate hearing notice.

Because of the state’s Hancock Amendment requiring districts and other taxing entities not to exceed total added revenue of the current Consumer Price Index, School District Superintendent Bill Nicely said the district, like other taxing entities in the area, rolled back the levy rate.

“So we don't fully benefit from the significant increase in assessed valuation,” he said.

During a public hearing before the board approved the 2019 rate, no member of the public spoke. No board discussion was had on the amount before the rate was approved.

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