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Commissioners Set 2018-2019 School Mill Levies

October 12, 2018

Commissioners Set 2018-2019 School Mill Levies


By Kathryn Pfister


Musselshell County Commissioners set 2018-19 School Mill Levies for State School Funds, County Wide School Funds and Local School District Funds.


State School Levies:

The standard Equalization Levies for 33 Elementary Mills, 22 High School Mills, 40 State Mills, also known as the State Wide School Equalization Levy or 95 Mills, and 6 University System Mills were set County Wide.


These 101 State mills reap the full taxable benefit because they are not affected by the 50% property tax break abatement that Signal Peak and Global Rail enjoy with Musselshell County mills. The state will receive $66,337.55 more in revenue from Musselshell County due to the increase in taxable value for a total dollar levy amount of $1,269,469.80.


Musselshell County’s taxable value gained by 698,292 from last year increasing mill income by $698.29 per mill. This increase is due primarily to new construction listed as located in Musselshell County.


County Wide School Levies:

Transportation 3.49 Mills, Up .19 Mills; High School Retirement 8.93 Mills, Down 7.22 Mills; Elementary Retirement 13.20 Mills, Down 13.60 Mills, for a total of 26.62 County Wide Mills. Along with an increased taxable, higher cash re-appropriated in the retirement funds, and district need changes, the taxpayer is getting an overall 19.63 mill reduction in the County Wide Funds of Transportation and High School and Elementary Retirement.


The 0.1 percent supplemental increase to the districts for the next 6 years to make TRS\PERS solvent remains in effect. However, the State of Montana is also making a supplemental contribution of 25 million annually from the general fund to help. Time line projections to make TRS actuarially sound will take until 2024.


District Levied Mills:

9 Musselshell- Mills for the residents of the Musselshell area come from Melstone 64J Elementary and Roundup 55H High School. The Elementary District will be up 4.42 mills, the High School District will be down 4.87 mills for an overall decrease of .45 mills. (See 64J and 55H for explanation.)


21J Broadview Elementary- General Fund 46.05 Mills; Transportation Fund 5.01 Mills; Bus Depreciation Fund 5.07; Building Reserve Fund 2.45 Mills for a total of 58.58 Mills. Up 3.28 Mills from last year. Taxable Value has, for the first time in three years, seen a upward change of $295.70 per mill from last year. The 58.58 total mills will generate $81,765.37 dollars from Musselshell County. This is $8,374.53 more than last year.  There are 2 ANB enrollment from Musselshell County for budget purposes to this joint district.


21JH Broadview High School-  General Fund 38.92 Mills; Transportation 2.77 Mills; Bus Depreciation 3.42 Mills; Building Reserve 2.37 Mills for a total of 47.48 Mills. Up .38 Mills.  The High School District experienced the same taxable growth as the Elementary.  The 47.48 total mills will generate $66,272.10 dollars from Musselshell County for an increase of $2,821.54. Enrollment from Musselshell County for budget purposes with this joint district is 0.


55 Roundup Elementary- General Fund 62.55 Mills; Transportation Fund 18.69; Bus Depreciation 4.59 Mills; Tuition is back with 1.83 mills; Adult Ed 1.17 Mills; Building Reserve 5.45 Mills for a total of 94.28 Mills. Down 7.45 Mills; plus the Debt Service/Bond Mills of 45.44 Down 7.69 mills. Regular education and bond mills are 139.72mills with an overall decrease in mills of 15.14. This is as substantial change that the taxpayer will appreciate.  Building Reserve mills remain from the passage of SB 307 for facility maintenance. Taxable Value is up by 550,343 or $550.34 more per mill. The 139.72 mills will generate $1,506,876.00, with $490,690.03 going towards the bond. $78,058.80 less in tax dollars will be collected this year due to taxable growth and reduced budget need.  Enrollment for budget purposes is 427, down 11 from last year.


55H Roundup High School- General Fund 33.21 Mills; Transportation 14.61 Mills; Bus Depreciation 4.35 Mills; Tuition is back 1.46 Mills; Adult Ed 1.08 Mills; Building Reserve 2.99; for a total of 57.70 Mills. Down 2.89 Mills; plus the Debt Service/Bond Mills of 15.10, down 1.98 mills for a combined total of 72.80 and a combined decrease of 4.87 mills. Taxable Value increased 591,397 for $591.39 more per mill. The 72.80 mills will generate $827,939.84 with $171,729.28 going towards the bond. $9,451.49 less in tax dollars will be generated than last year because of the taxable growth and reduction in budget need. This is the second year for the SB307 building reserve mills that allow the high school district to deal with infrastructure needs. Enrollment for funding purposes is 177, down 13 from last year.


64J Melstone Elementary- General fund 38.01; Transportation 19.93; Technology 5.40; Building Reserve Fund 10.00, for a total of 73.34 Mills. Up 4.42 Mills. Taxable Value increased by 81,990 or $81.99 a mill. Melstone’s Elementary mills will generate $86,693.01 tax dollars from Musselshell County.  This is $10,875.50 more than last year. Melstone Elementary opted into the SB307 Building Reserve Mills for needed District Maintenance.  Enrollment from Musselshell County for budgeting is 48, down 6 from last year. Melstone is a Joint School District with Rosebud County and these figures do not reflect Rosebud County’s funding portion.


64JH Melstone High School- General Fund 45.60; Transportation Fund 35.00; Technology Fund 13.00; Building Reserve Fund 10.00 Mills, for a total of 103.60 Mills. Interestingly, this is the same exact number of Mills as last year. Melstone High School is the smallest district in Musselshell County and its taxable also remains the lowest in Musselshell County with a mill only generating $594.25. This taxable did grow in value per mill by 40,936 for a dollar value per mill of $40.93. Total mills only generates $28,880.59 from Musselshell County, up $4,241.39 from last year. Melstone High School also opted into the Building Reserve Levy for district maintenance through SB 307. Enrollment from Musselshell County for budgeting is 25, up by 1 from last year for budget purposes.


SB307 allows a district to permissively mill up to $15,000.00 plus $100.00 X the ANB from the District’s ANB for the prior fiscal year for major maintenance. This bill removed the Quality Schools Grants funding, which were limited, competitive and previously available through the state for such projects. SB 307 opens the door for all districts to do maintenance at some level.


Due to the revenue short fall at the State Level, reductions remain implemented from the 2017 Legislature, as well as further cuts established by the 2017 Special Session. Career and Tech Ed is reduced. Supplemental funds to School District Budgets reduced by 5% are; At-Risk Payment, Special Education Allowable Cost Payment, Agricultural Education, Secondary Vo-Ed, State Tuition Payments, and School Foods are the ones that effect local districts. The School Combined Block Grant and the School Trust Land Block Grant are eliminated for 2019. The State Major Maintenance Aid Payment has been suspended. (The Natural Resources Facilities payment no longer exists) These remaining monies in this fund were moved to the State General Fund. However, District can still mill the allowed amount for the program and School District 55, 55H, 64J and 64JH are doing so in their Building Reserve Funds through SB307.


The Transportation Block Grants for school districts are gone permanently. The total amount of state Transportation Reimbursements to school Districts for Fiscal years 2018-2019 are reduced. The State 2nd payment for Transportation Reimbursement was reduced by 16.3%. School Districts are further handicapped with this revenue loss because they cannot increase taxes locally to make up the loss. They have a temporary option to transfer revenue from other funds, which amounts to robbing Peter to pay Paul so to speak.  In other words, it just moves the revenue short fall to another fund and ultimately the Districts are absorbing the loss by reducing spending and services. The Debt Service Assistance Payment, which Roundup was eligible for with the school bonds, is suspended. So there is no State Funding available to help with Debt Service payments and the remaining monies in this fund have been moved to the Guarantee Account that funds K-12 Base Aid. In other words, it will require less money from the State General Fund to fund K-12 Base Aid with these added monies.


The county wide block grants funds for Transportation and Retirement are gone permanently.

Trustees and Administration continue to work to stabilize levies/revenue, keeping taxpayer liability in mind during the budget process. All Districts saw taxable value growth due to the current year valuation process with new construction, which are primarily homes.

Consequently, Education Mills are up and down: depending on the entity and its circumstances of budgetary need, cash to re-appropriate, revenue collections and gain in taxable value. Maintenance and operation of Musselshell County Schools is dependent upon the local taxpayer. That liability is kept in mind when funding. School trustees and school officials appreciate the generous support in the growth and development of their students by the Musselshell County Taxpayers.

Taxpayers can project the levy amount they will be paying to the State 101 mills, County Wide 26.62 Mills and the School District of Residence mill total for Elementary and High School by multiplying their taxable value (which came in their assessment notice from the Department of Revenue this summer or using last year’s taxable from your 2017 tax statement) times the mills and then multiplying that number by .001 to get a dollar value. This does not include any city or county mills.

Last modified: March 4, 2019

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