WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Keokuk Schools Keeping Tax Rate Steady

Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk School Board has approved the district's certified budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Superintendent Lora Wolff says the spending plan sets the property tax rate at $18.53/$1,000 for one more year. She says a slight increase was discussed, but not acted upon, because of the current economic times.

"Since other entities are raising taxes," says Dr. Wolff, "we were going to try to hold our rate steady and hope that in the subsequent years, we will not have to raise it."

Wolff says the state of Iowa will help Keokuk hold the property tax rate steady. She says Keokuk receives additional funding because of its relatively small tax base, compared to other districts.

The impact on the rate is about $2.33. Wolff says the district would have to boost its rate by that much without the state assistance.

Another factor in holding the rate steady was the Keokuk School Board's decision to cut about $1-million from next year's budget. The list of cuts include staff cuts, the closing of Torrance Elementary, and the elimination of Kid Zone.

Dr. Wolff says, at this point, the district will probably lose one teacher and one staff member. She says those positions could be saved if additional retirements/resignations take place.

Kid Zone employees will be out of a job if grant money is not found to continue the program.