Chadron School Approves Smaller Budget, Larger Property Tax Request


      The Chadron School Board Monday night gave final approval to a roughly $20-million dollar budget with an $18-million dollar general fund and a property tax request of $6.87-million dollars. 

     The budget is 1.18% lower than for the fiscal year just ending, but the tax request is 5.5% higher.

The board lowered the tax rate 2-cents per hundred for the second straight year to $1.01 per hundred, but assessed value rose 7.4%.

     Only 6 members of the public turned out for the annual public hearings on the budget and tax request and only 4 spoke, but they had plenty to say as the hearings ran a combined 46-minutes instead of the scheduled 20-minutes. 

     They urged the school board to make more cuts and lower the tax request, saying most landowners in the district, especially ranchers and those who are retired, can’t afford to pay more.

     Leanne McCance said ag input costs are 4 times what they were a year ago, with some producers looking at being forced to sell out.

     Karl Storjohann told the board members they need to tighten the belt on the budget and reduce or eliminate all spending that’s not for actual education – adding “you guys don’t care, you just raise the taxes.

      Board members repeatedly sympathized with the speakers. Board President Tom Menke says several members know exactly what Storjohann and the others are experiencing because they’re in production agriculture as well.

Board members repeatedly explained that much of the financial stress on the district is from unfunded state mandates in areas such as special education and that even the increases in state aid approved this year don’t fully cover costs. 

      Menke, who is also City Manager of Chadron, says each school board member is committed to putting education of the kids first and that it may take a few years to learn if some of the funding decisions they make pan out.

     ((Tom Menke

School budgets can be misleading in places. The total includes reserves, so while the overall Chadron Public Schools budget is about $20-million, the district will only spend about $14-million with 84% of that going to salaries and benefits.

7 thoughts on “Chadron School Approves Smaller Budget, Larger Property Tax Request”

  1. Taxation is theft plain and simple!

    DANIEL WEBSTER and those of JOHN MARSHALL in the Supreme Court case, McCulloch v. Maryland. Webster, in arguing the case, said: “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” 17 U.S. 327 (1819).

    Theft is any entity taking from one to give to another..

  2. I have been watching bickering and dissension around taxes, probably school taxes more than any other, for many decades. At what point will it be acknowledged that the people of Chadron know more about what is best for their children than do the folks in Lincoln, Washington, DC, or the NEA? When the board members and the people unite behind what is honest, true, relevant, and right, progress will be made. Two suggestions. Teach American history, starting at the foundation, including viewing the documentary, MONUMENTAL, every year from 5th through 12th grade. Teach the truth about monetary systems, what ours is and what our state and federal constitutions and the Bible say it should be. Then step back, because when those kids start voting, they will be determined and prepared to stop the destruction. These budget disputes are all the same. When nobody knows what they’re doing, nobody knows what to do. Go to the root of the problem, then all will know what to do.

  3. How about set an example to kids that there’s more to life than capturing money and passing the buck to their generation. They are watching every move you make and they want genuine companionship from family.

  4. This is interesting, they seem to be laying the blame on Special Education as being one of the worst offenders of the the budget. But, I would love to take a look at past spending and see what had actually been spent on Special ED vs Sports and extra Curricular activities.

  5. I understand that farmers and ranchers pay for the biggest part of taxes for everything and have since the beginning of time–And i have been on a school board and city board as well, both are tough most of the time thankless voluntary positions –So the taxpayers out there that have real solutions to the issues need to pony up and run for a seat on any board and see it from the other side–And i can tell you from experience that any current board member is looking for help and needs help to solve these issues so your voice does matter

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