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NORTHWOOD | The proposed Northwood-Kensett Community School District budget calls for a 3.4 percent increase in the district's property tax levy.

The district will hold a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. Thursday in Northwood.

The proposed 2015-16 budget calls for $7.8 million in total expenditures and $7.7 million in revenue. The ending fund balance would be $2.04 million.

The proposed tax levy would increase to $11.94 per $1,000 of taxable value. That's an increase of 41 cents, or about 3.4 percent from last year's levy of $11.53.

Officials want to increase the levy because of the state's budget guarantee and the district’s decision to put money into its management account, said Superintendent Mike Crozier.

The account is used to pay insurance, early retirements and liens filed against the district. Northwood-Kensett didn't put any tax levy money into that account in 2014-15.

The district also plans on spending up to $100,000 of its cash reserves in 2015-16, Crozier said.

It does not plan on cutting staff or reducing programs in 2015-16.

"Not for next year, but you can only go into your cash reserves so much," he said. 

Northwood-Kensett must submit its budget to the state by April 13. However, it and other districts across the state have to formulate budgets without knowing how much state aid they will get next year.

As of Thursday, Iowa lawmakers still had yet to agree on a school funding package for 2015-16.

Northwood-Kensett's proposed tax levy was figured using the 1.25 percent increase in state aid backed by the Republican majority. Democrats have asked for a 2.625 percent increase.



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