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TAXES MAY RISE IN ALPINE DISTRICT

Alpine School District residents can expect to pay more next year in property taxes, and they can blame it on population growth.

The Alpine School Board approved a tentative budget Tuesday night that would bring an additional $515,000 into district coffers through tax increases. Also, the property tax would be increased to the level needed to keep about $100,000 in state matching funds.District officials say most of the new money would go toward programs needed to handle increased enrollment of about 400 students. Also, the district's current bulge of elementary students is starting to move into secondary schools.

"We're starting to see the effects of that shift, and we have the need to take care of those effects," said Jim Hansen, district budget director.

Hansen said most of the new money would be used to hire assistants in several areas. About $200,000 will go toward new secretaries, custodians, computer aides, lab aides, accounting aides and principal assistants. Also, about $33,000 more would be spent on testing, $20,000 on in-service training and $6,000 on the district report card.

The new money in the recreation fund would go toward coaching stipends and playground supervision during lunch time.

Hansen said the increase in debt-service revenue will not be used to retire new debt. The money would pay off debts the district used to pay with interest revenue and other state money.

"In the past we've been able to pay some of our debt with other money, but we just don't have the money there anymore," Hansen said.

The proposed budget includes about $3 million in increases in employee benefits. Hansen said this is because of the increased cost of participating in the state retirement fund and increased health-care costs.

Even with the tax increases the district's certified tax rate actually would go down from .008403 to .007960. However, because the the Legislature increased the residential assessment from 60 percent to 67 percent of fair-market value, homeowners will be paying more in taxes.

For the owner of a $75,000 home, the increases will mean about $13 more in taxes next year.

The district has scheduled a truth-in-taxation hearing for Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 6 p.m. to hear public comment on the proposed tax increases. Afterward, district officials are expected to adopt the proposed budget.

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(Additional information)

Alpine school tax

Proposed tax increases for 1991-92:

Debt service $159,994 $3.35

Recreation fund 80,000 1.70

Capital fund 275,000 5.76

Local leeway 95,624 2.00

Total $610,618 $12.81