School district tax levy to decrease in 2020

Minneapolis Public Schools CFO Ibrahima Diop
Minneapolis Public Schools CFO Ibrahima Diop (right) said the district’s maximum 2020 levy is lower than this year’s levy because of a state overpayment. File photo

Minneapolitans may see an increase in their 2020 property taxes, but it won’t be because of Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS).

The Board of Education has approved a maximum 2020 levy that’s nearly 1.5% lower than its 2019 levy. It represents the maximum levy allowed by the state.

District leaders said the maximum 2020 levy has decreased because MPS is collecting more than it should in property taxes this year given its enrollment. They said that’s because the Minnesota Department of Education used outdated enrollment numbers to certify the district’s 2019 levy. School levies are in part based on a district’s enrollment, and MPS had more students a few years ago than it does now.

MPS CFO Ibrahima Diop said the district is creating a system to ensure that such errors don’t happen in the future.

He and budget director Tammy Fredrickson said the district does not have to cut programming.

The district’s property tax levy includes both voter-approved referenda and a levy set by the School Board. It helps the district cover both operational expenses and those related to capital projects.

The School Board approved the maximum levy on Sept. 24 and will finalize the levy in December.