It comes on the heels of a 2018 levy decrease of 4%

    Between now and December when its final version needs to be adopted, the property tax levy payable in 2019 by Crookston School District taxpayers will most likely stay the same as it is now, it might go down, but, by law, it will most definitely not go up.

    That’s why school board members in Crookston and in districts across Minnesota in the fall typically approve a property tax levy at the “maximum” amount allowed by the state. When they do that, it gives them the option of whittling down the levy when the final version is adopted in December or leaving it as is, but once they set the “maximum” levy, school boards are not allowed to raise it.

    The Crookston School Board has approved a preliminary property tax levy for 2019 that’s a 5.2 percent increase over the levy payable in 2018, which dropped 4 percent compared to 2017. Superintendent Jeremy Olson attributes much of the decrease in 2018 to first-time integration funding that came the district’s way.

    Olson said that even though the final 2019 budget and levy has yet to be passed, property owners in the district will see the preliminary 5.2 percent increase when they soon receive their 2019 property tax estimates from Polk County.

    In approving the “maximum” preliminary levy amount allowed, Olson said the board is looking to “maximize its flexibility” as budget decisions are finalized and the final budget and levy for next year are fine-tuned in advance of a December adoption.