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Lower poverty rate nets higher taxes

At its Nov. 12 meeting, the Superior School Board revised its 2013-14 budget to reflect a higher increase to the tax levy.

The Board had planned for a 1.90 percent increase, but a loss of funding forced the district to revise its figures for a 3.58 percent increase instead.

Jack Amadio, Superior school district business manager, said the change is due to the loss of aid for high poverty districts.

To qualify for the aid, a district must have at least 50 percent of its student population eligible for free or reduced lunch. Superior made the cut for 2012-13, but Superintendent Janna Stevens said the district has a 49.6 percent poverty rate for the current school year.

"And they don't round up," Stevens said.

Superior had counted on $333,046 in funding as a high poverty district.

Amadio said the district was above the 50 percent poverty rate at the start of the school year, but it fell below the cutoff after the third-Friday enrollment count in September.

"I can't believe we're under 50 percent, but we are," Amadio said.

The 2013-14 budget remains the same for the school district, but a larger portion of the cost must be shifted to the tax levy.

As a result, taxpayers will see a greater property tax increase than anticipated -- about $17 more per $100,000 of value.

District eligibility for high poverty aid is calculated on a two-year basis, so the Superior school district will be without that funding until at least the 2015-16 school year.

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