WAHOO – The amount of money requested from taxpayers by Wahoo Public Schools for its 2019-2020 budget and the tax levy has decreased, according to the budget property tax request and approved by the Board of Education at their monthly meeting Monday night.

“The levy and the tax asking amount are both less than they were last year,” said Superintendent Brandon Lavaley.

Taxpayers in District 39 will pay $11,234,549 in tax dollars to the school district, down about $12,000 from the previous year.

The total property tax request includes $9,270,176 for the general fund, $284,480 for the K-8 bond fund, $220,297 for the Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund (K-12) and $1,459,596 for the special building fund.

Lavaley said the money for the special building fund is in addition to the amount already in the fund, which will total nearly $6.3 million for the 2019-2020 school year. The district put nearly the same amount in the special building fund in 2018-2019 as well.

Board President Rob Brigham said the citizens advisory committee has been formed, and if the committee and the board do not agree that lack of space is an issue in the school district, then the special building fund will be reduced.

However, if they decide that the district needs more facilities to house its growing student body, the money will be used.

“To the extent that they agree there is a space issue and there’s an agreement to what’s to be done, the money will be used for that,” he said.

Board Vice President Al Grandgenett noted that one reason the amount requested from taxpayers has decreased by 45 percent because the district is nearing the end of payment period for the K-8 bond fund. Lavaley said the bond will be paid off at the end of the district’s 2019-2020 fiscal year.

The overall levy for 2019-2020 is $1.094, nearly 4 and a half cents lower than last year, Lavaley said. The overall levy includes the general fund levy ($0.887), K-8 bond fund ($0.046), special building fund ($0.139) and Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund ($0.02).

A handful of taxpayers attended the public hearing on the budget and property tax request. Joe Engler had concerns about putting more money in the special building fund. Curtis Havelka also questioned the special building fund’s increase.

“It puts too much burden, especially on old people,” he said.

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