The Newton Recreation Commission approved a budget for 2018 that includes a mill levy increase, though the exact numbers on the increase are not really known.

“This is just an estimate,” said Brian Bascue, superintendent of the Newton Recreation Commission.

The estimated mill levy, including both the general fund and empployee benefits, sits at 9.14 mills — an increse of .43 mills. That increase is coming in the general fund mill levy, estiamted at 7.52 mills.

The final mill levy numbers are a ways off — first, USD 373 will have to figure mill levy numbers on behalf of the Rec. The school district actually levies the taxes for the rec commission, then passes those revenues through to the Rec.

The budgeting timeline for the district is behind this year, as state funding is tied up in litigation at the supreme court level. As a result, district officials told The Kansan they do not know when they will receive budgeting software that helps figure mill levies. The software could be delayed until a final court decision, which did not set a timeline after hearing arguments in the case July 18.

After the school disrtict completes budgets, that is certified by the county clerk and final mill levy numbers generated. That normally that happens in November.

For the 2018 Rec budget, Bascue made adjustments to general funds, namely ad valorem tax funds, since presenting an initial budget about a month ago. Within those funds he cut about $100,000 from the initial proposal. In addition, he shows the use of reserve funds to reduce possible tax increases.

“Every year when I give an estimate, my esitmate has always been higher,” Bascue said.

The board voted in favor of budget certification Friday.

If the figure of 9.14 mills holds, the bill for a property tax payer in USD 373 will be $105 per year on a $100,00 home — or about $8.75 per month.

 

In other business Friday:

• The commission approved a three year contract extension to host the Kansas High School Activities Association Eight Man Football Championships.

• The commission reviewed a strategic plan.

• Learned work to construct a new restroom and concession facility at Kelsch Field in Athletic Park has begun. It is anticipated the building will be completed and available for use for the football championships.