Minden Public School was dealt a heavy blow on Tuesday as the Kearney County Board of Supervisors, sitting as the Board of Equalization, approved a $553,596.88 refund to KAAPA Ethanol LLC for over payment on its personal property tax in 2007.
Following the 5-0 vote- Bob Swanson absent and Richard Schwenka abstaining- County Assessor Linda Larsen certified the numbers.
County treasurer Barb Lynn was instructed to notify the taxing entities.
The school, the largest taxing entity in Kearney County, will have to come up with $280,226.98 to repay the tax error made by the county.
“Unfortunately, unlike the other tax entities, the overpayment of taxes in 2007 affects our school district’s budget in many ways,” said Dr. Melissa Wheelock, Minden Public Schools Superintendent in an interview with the Courier. “When state aid is determined annually by the Nebraska Department of Education, they consider the resources and needs a school district has. The 2007 overpaid taxes were listed as a resource for our school district, so that directly impacted our state aid by indicating less of a need for state aid. Now that we have to pay back those taxes that were listed a resource, our school district cannot go back to the Nebraska Department of Education and request a state aid correction. The Nebraska Department of Education will only make a state aid correction for one year prior to the current state aid certification year. So due to the overpaid taxes, our school district not only lost out on state aid for that year but we are losing the refund we are needing to pay at this time. Our 2010/2011 state aid will only increase $32,497.15 next year, so a $280,226.98 refund will obviously have an immediate impact on our district’s budget.”