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New tool will show tax impact of B-E school

Residents in the Brandon-Evansville School District will soon know the impact a proposed $38.75 million bond referendum for a new K-12 school would have on their property taxes, down to the penny, with a touch of a few buttons.

The district will have a tax calculator on its website that will contain the information, according to Warren Schmidt, project facilitator hired by the district. Right now, they are programming parcel numbers into the system and hope to have the calculator in place by late July or early August.

The district has also been crunching numbers to determine the impact of a new law that gives farmers a 40 percent agricultural tax credit to offset the costs of school building referendums, starting in 2018.

Schmidt offered a specific example, using a 466-acre farm classified as agricultural homestead with a market value of $1,612,500. If the $38.75 million bond referendum is approved, it would result in a tax increase of $5,075.90 or $10.88 per acre — without the new ag credit.

The credit will reduce that amount by 40 percent to $3,045.54 or $6.53 per acre.

The credit would be applied automatically by the state; farmers wouldn't have to fill out an extra tax form for it, Schmidt said.

When asked how much property in the district is comprised of agricultural land, Schmidt said the district is in the process of determining the total property value within the district and how much of it is agricultural, commercial, lakeshore and residential.

The Legislature approved the agricultural credit because in some districts, ag land makes up a large majority of the tax base and legislators felt that farmers were being asked to bear the brunt of the costs for school building referendums.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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