Schools increase reliance on state

By Press Release

Assessed valuation in Delta County Joint School District #50 dropped substantially in 2017, particularly in the portion of Gunnison County that lies in district boundaries, but the school district mill levy remains steady. The general fund mill levy has been frozen at 22.656 by the state for almost 10 years, according to Jim Ventrello, 50J business manager, and will generate an estimated $7,852,081. The school district would be looking at a revenue decline of $1.5 million, except for the fact that the state is required to make up the difference. State funding contributes more than $25 million to district operations annually, an amount that grows every year. "We've become more and more dependent on the state," Ventrello said. Without state funding, the mill levy would be 110 mills for the calendar year 2018.

The school board also certified an abatement levy of 0.113, to generate $39,163, and a bond redemption levy of 5.494 to generate $1,904,102.