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Cloquet School Board certifies tax levy with 6% increase

The final levy amount of $7,416,046.61 accounts for 16% of the district's total budget of $46,984,512.

Garfield School
Garfield School
File / Cloquet Pine Journal
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CLOQUET — The Cloquet School Board voted unanimously to certify its 2023 tax levy as part of its Truth in Taxation meeting held Monday, Dec. 12, at Garfield School.

The final 2023 levy amount of $7,416,046.61 accounts for 16% of the district’s total budget of $46,984,512, and marks a 6% increase from the final 2022 levy set at just under $7 million.

Cloquet School District Business Manager Candace Nelis explained that the increase in adjusted net tax capacity was one factor in the levy increase, as Carlton County property assessments went up 26% for taxes payable in 2023, according to information provided in the agenda packet.

Adjusted net tax capacity is the net tax capacity divided by the sales ratio, which is the ratio of market value to actual sales price. Net tax capacity measures the total value of the property in the district and then takes a percentage of that property and establishes the maximum capacity that the public can be taxed, Superintendent Michael Cary said at the board's Sept. 26 meeting.

“A higher ANTC may mean that we have more levy and less aid, which is probably the majority of what we’re seeing right now,” Nelis shared. " …We’re seeing less state aids for those equalization factors and then where we have to make up for that is on the levy, with taxpayers.”

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Cloquet's ANTC of $13,127,669 is nearly twice that of Esko at $7,332,070.

Nearly 48% of the levy will go towards voter-approved debt service expenses stemming from bonds sold for the construction of the new middle school.

“When we sold the bonds for the middle school, we ended up having some alternative facility bonds that ended up having a balloon payment at the end, and when we restructured our debt, we ended up reducing that balloon payment … that was to decrease that year’s payment and then jump right back up, because now we’re going to be making our larger payments towards the middle school bonds,” Nelis said.

Related Topics: CLOQUET SCHOOLSEDUCATION
Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
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