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PR-B School Board considers increasing operating levy

The Pine River-Backus School Board held a special public meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13, to discuss options for this year’s operating levy.

Under the 2013 Omnibus Tax Bill, the Pine River-Backus School Board was granted the legal authority to increase its operating levy from $1.02 per student up to as much as $300 per pupil unit without voter approval.

PR-B Business Manager Jolene Bengtson, school board member Chris Cunningham and school board chair Sandy Poferl attended a training meeting July 23 in Bemidji to learn more about these changes.

Bengtson also received a report estimating the cost of a full increase in the operating levy. The report was given to the school board, and information from the report was presented at the Aug. 13 meeting.

Currently, PR-B has approximately 1,000 pupil units. According to the report, if the board approves increasing the levy to the full $300 per pupil unit, the school could raise an additional $303,080 in revenue. Of that increase, 43 percent would be in state aid, while 57 percent would come from property taxes.

For a typical $150,000 market value property, yearly property taxes would increase by $47. For a $200,000 market value property, that amount would be $62 per year.

Visit for more information about the Aug. 13 meeting.