At its annual meeting on Monday, Oct. 19, the Lodi Board of Eduction approved a tax levy of $14,770,650 for the 2020-21 academic year.
It was a slight increase over last year’s levy of $14,438,132 — which was $700,000 higher than that for the 2018-19 school year.
The mill rate also stays basically flat at 11.13%, a minimal increase of 0.01 percent from a year ago. The mill rate has been between 11.12%-11.14% since the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. This year under the mill rate, it means that school taxes will be $1,113 for every $100,000 of assessed property value — which translates to $1 more per $100,000 over last year.
Brent Richter, the district’s business manager added that in order to keep a near flat mill rate, an additional $1.6 million to the levy was given approval.
The 2020-21 tax levy is broken down as follows: $53,100 in the Non-referendum Debt Service Levy; $3,275,000 in the Referendum Debt Service Levy; $50,000 in the Capital Projects Fund Levy; $11,067,550 in the General Fund Levy; and $325,000 in the Community Service Fund Levy.
The three that increased from 2019-20 were the Community Service Fund Levy ($225,000 for 2019-20), the Referendum Debt Service Levy ($2,675,588 in 2019-20) and the General Fund Levy ($11,434,444 in 2019-20).
School Board Treasurer Steven Ricks provided a brief summary of the final numbers from the 2019-20 school year. In Fund 10, the general operations fund, there was a $141,000 surplus due to a lot of expenses not needed to be paid because of not being in the buildings for the final three months of the year. Also, the district lost $118,000 in Fund 50 — the food service fund. Ricks said in many years, the district ends with a surplus, but it wasn’t the case last year. Despite the deficit, Ricks noted the great job done by the food service team to provide the children of the district plenty of free meals through the spring and summer months.
In conclusion, Ricks said of the budget, “We ended up well and things are looking pretty good.”
Brent Richter added that the district saw a total revenue for the 2019-20 year of $19.35 million, with most of it coming from taxes and an additional 36% from state aid. Richter said that the district received $9,800 per pupil for the 2019-20 academic year. The district enrollment grew for much of the 1990s and into the new millennium — maxing out during the 2007-08 year — but has been in decline since, with a slight jump in 2017-18.
However, Richter said the overall deficit was around $100,000 for last year. He added that about 72% of the district’s expenditures went to salaries and benefits for all district employees.
Richter said of the food service fund, “We lost the fund balance, so the district will have to make some decisions.”