Broken Bow School Board Approves 2019-2020 Tax Request

BROKEN BOW—Budgets are being finalized throughout the county and as of last night, Broken Bow taxpayers will not be seeing an increase in this next year’s tax request from Broken Bow Public Schools. A budget hearing was held during Monday night’s school board meeting and the board voted to approve the total property tax request at $8,614,099.00. (Click here to view the September 10 story.)

The property tax request of $8.614 million is the same as the last couple years with Superintendent Darren Tobey saying the district has not been spending more money and is therefore not asking for more money.

The operating budget was set at approximately $11.4 million with Mr. Tobey saying it is higher than the previous $10.9 million budget from the last two years due to cash reserve money that needs to be used or could otherwise be lost in future years if not used as an expense.

Superintendent Tobey estimated the district would spend approximately $10.1 million but the district has the ability to spend up to $11.4 million from the general fund.

“We will not spend $11.4 [million], I would guess we’re going to spend $10.1 [million] next year and we spent $10.1 [million] this past year,” Tobey said. “Financially in my opinion I think we’re sitting really, really good as a school district moving forward,” he added.

This year’s levy for the Broken Bow School District of 0.862548 is higher than last year’s levy (0.851768) due to a slight dip in property valuation, which affects the levy.

Treasurer J.B. Atkins told the board that revenue for the last year came to about $10.6 million with expenses coming in at $10.15. (However, during the upcoming audit Atkins said that number will be $10.25 million because $100,000 was moved from the general fund to the curriculum fund–a depreciation account–which appears as an expense.)

According to Atkins the general fund is $400,000 ahead compared to last year. The treasurer’s report and claims report were approved.

Mr. Tobey said he attributes the district being in good financial shape to the staff for believing in the district’s vision and helping save money in different areas as they move forward.

Also on Monday night, Mr. Tobey discussed safety training within the schools and a Standard Response Protocol to outline and define terms such as lockdown with instructions vs. lockout for school officials and law enforcement.

Regarding the Director of Operations position, Tobey has picked up some of those responsibilities but the board is hoping to hire someone by this spring for custodial and maintenance needs, as well as activities. (Click here to read the May 20 story.)

The October work session is scheduled for Monday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m. where the board will discuss the district’s strategic plan, negotiation team, evaluation tools, enrollment, and the preschool project. The next regular school board meeting will be on Monday, October 21 also at 7:30 p.m.