Washington school board approves budget

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


The Washington School Board approved its budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year with a decrease in the tax asking.

?The tax asking is down 29 cents per $1,000 [valuation], and I [will] talk a little bit about the future as you move forward,? superintendent Jeff Dicks said. ?You?re going to make your last installment of early retirement in July so therefore you?ll replenish that through this budget but we?re still able to bring the tax asking down.?

This is a good thing, but Dicks cautioned the board not to bring the tax asking down too far in the future, because it may have to rise in the future, he added.

Dicks also pointed out to board members that the tax asking went down even with two bonds ? one for the auditorium and the elementary project. He told the board they were basically approving a tax asking of $15.65 per $1,000 valuation.The board unanimously approved the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The board also approved a resolution authorizing the redemption of general obligation school bonds.

Dicks said they haven?t calculated how much extra the district could start collecting on the bond, but they were already in a position to start collecting extra.

?Is it callable in 10 years?? Dicks asked board secretary and district business manager Jeff Dieleman.

?10 years,? Dieleman replied.

?You won?t have enough to do that, but I would guess you?re going to knock a year or two off,? Dicks said.

Dieleman said he projected at least a year.

?So that saves interest and is a great situation,? Dicks added.

Board President Eric Turner asked if that was something the district would be contacted about when the bonds can be paid ahead on.

Piper Jaffray is the firm assisting the district with its debt, Dieleman said. They held a budget workshop with Dieleman about this process.

When the taxpayers voted to approve a bond it was for a certain leve, Dieleman said. As the tax valuations go up that level generates more money, so instead of continuing to pay at the rate the district continues to collect more money so they can put they can generate more money for the bond payment and can put it in escrow.

A lot of people let the rate drop and continue to pay the same amount instead of trying to pay it off early, which the district is trying to get done and people would appreciate, Dicks said. The board unanimously approved the resolution.