RPS Board Adopts 2017-18 Budget, Property Tax Levy

Board unanimously approves budget, property tax levy for upcoming academic year
Posted on 09/18/2017
After weeks of consideration and time for public comment, the Ralston Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt its budget and tax levy request for the 2017-18 academic year.  For the fifth consecutive year, the board either maintained or lowered its tax levy request to Ralston taxpayers.  Years of thoughtful planning, combined with conservative financial management allowed the district to recommend this budget.

"This is an investment by our community on behalf of our students," said Board of Education Vice President Linda Richards before the vote.  

While lowering the tax levy, this budget also allows Ralston Public Schools to contribute funds to the early retirement of other outstanding construction bonds.  Repaying those bonds earlier than required will save RPS and its taxpayers close to $450,000 in interest payments over the next 2 1/2 years another example of thoughtful, long-term planning by RPS staff and board leaders.  

The tax levy, which is set by RPS' Board of Education, combined with property valuations (calculated by the Douglas County Assessor) determine the amount of taxes paid by an individual homeowner.  This year's tax levy is $1.2598 per $100.00 of assessed valuation on a home or property.

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Ralston Public Schools carefully considered and built this budget amid several uncertainties.  Those included:
  • The transition from a common 'Learning Community common levy' to generating revenue as a stand-alone district.  For several years, the Learning Community common levy pooled property tax revenue among 11 districts in the Omaha metro area.  This year, Ralston Public Schools' property tax revenue is solely determined by property values in our district.  By comparison, property values in RPS boundaries have recently grown at a slower rate than districts on the western edge of the Omaha metro.
  • State funding.  It was covered extensively in late 2016 and much of 2017, that Nebraska lawmakers faced a nearly 1-billion dollar budget shortfall.  A lagging agricultural economy made a dramatic impact on state tax revenue.  Whether or not education funding would be affected, or how it might be affected in the future continues to be something RPS staff and leaders monitor closely, advocating for our students and families whenever possible.
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