News Local

School taxes slated to drop for most

Greg Vandermeulen

GVSD Chair Laurie Dyck. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

GVSD Chair Laurie Dyck. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)


The school portion of property taxes will drop for residences and businesses, and rise dramatically for farms if the Garden Valley School Division budget as revealed at a public meeting is approved.
The total budget will rise to $51.7 million, up 4.7 per cent from last year.
That means a homeowner will see a drop in school taxes of about 1.47 per cent, a savings of $26.51 for a home valued at $250,000 and $31.81 for a home valued at $300,000.
Businesses will see a .74 per cent decrease, a savings of $38.51 on a business valued at $500,000.
Farmers will pay the price, thanks to much higher assessments. A $1.2 million farm will see their taxes rise by 17.89 per cent or $832.95, while a $4.4 million farm will see an increase of about $3,331.93.
Board chair Laurie Dyck said their priority is offer the services they need to students, but said they look at taxes as well.
“We do definitely look at the tax dollar at the end of the day to see how everyone’s property taxes are going to  be effected by the choices we make,” she said.
Currently the local taxpayers supply about 34 per cent of the division’s total costs.
Garden Valley School Division will see some changes in the next year.
With a projection of 4,534 students, they continue to prioritize literacy and numeracy. This year they plan to hire a K-8 Numeracy coordinator.
Pine Ridge Elementary School will also come into reality with construction beginning this spring. An additional $200,000 will be set aside to bring the local contribution to $700,000. The school will cost about $30 million.
Although the provincial funding announcement was extremely low, with increasing numbers of students GVSD will see a 2.4 per cent increase in provincial funding.
Additional costs this year that were presented at the public meeting, but still have to be approved include:
• $100,000 - Math, Hire Coordinator, Committee Work
• $68,000 - School budget index CPI
• $3,200 - OT/PT Services
• $200,000 - Pine Ridge Capital Reserve Allocation
• $17,000 - Winkler Family Resource Centre
• $10,000 - Imagination Library
• $274,000 - Bus Replacement
• $14,000 - outsource fire alarm system inspections
• $10,000 - workplace safety & health training
• $50,000 - additional staff finance department
The budget will go before the board for approval on March 13 at 8 p.m.