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PHS looks at solid finances

Published: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 3:32 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 3:37 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — The financial picture at Princeton High School remains strong, according to Superintendent Kirk Haring.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the PHS Board approved a tax levy extension of $5,381,683 for taxes payable in 2013. The tax rate is currently at 2.0862 but is projected to decrease to 2.0611 with the final number to be determined by the equalized assessed valuation (EAV) of the district, Haring said.

On Thursday, Haring said the assessor’s estimated EAV for the district is $251,190,890, which represents a slight increase from the previous year. Based on the projected EAV, a 2-cent savings could be realized in the tax rate. Any time the school district can give any type of decrease in its tax rate, that’s a tremendous thing, he said.

Looking at the district’s recent history, Haring said the tax rate has decreased from 2.12393 to the currently projected 2.0611 during the past seven years. The financial picture of PHS continues to be very positive, he said.

“The positive financial condition of PHS can be contributed to a strong local EAV and a board of education that has been willing to make difficult financial decisions,” Haring said.

In other business at Wednesday’s meeting, the PHS Board approved going out for $2,050,000 in working cash bonds to pay for fire prevention and life safety projects to be completed in next year. Those projects include new bleachers for the football field/track, roof replacement work on the Prouty and south gymnasiums, tuck pointing for the entire building, repair work to the greenhouse, and repair to the fire escape at the auditorium.

John Vezzetti of Bernardi Securities attended Wednesday’s meeting to answer questions from the board. Vezzetti will work with the board in the handling of the bond process. Vezzetti said he hoped to sell the bonds in early January and have them available for the district by later that month.

Hopefully, the entire amount of the bonds will not have to be issued to get the needed projects done, Haring said. Again, any time the district can take care of needed projects and still lower its tax rate, it’s a great thing, the superintendent said.

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