Many school districts in rural Nebraska are seeing their budgets benefit from rapidly rising farmland values. Randy Anderson, superintendent of the Crofton and Hartington school districts, says both districts have been able to expand their budgets this year, while lowering the property tax levy.
“School districts can actually lower the tax levies due to the increased value,” Anderson says. “Perhaps not everyone will see a large tax savings but I’m hoping the majority of taxpayers will see some form of tax savings.”
Anderson says the timing is ideal as other funding sources for schools have been cutting back.
“Federal funding is going down, state funding is going down, so natually, the costs always seem to come back to the locals,” Anderson says. “That’s where, as administration, we have to be careful to plan good, solid budgets and get the support of our boards of education.”
Valuations in the Hartington district rose by about $87-million in the last year, while property taxes for schools dropped about 24%.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton