Paola school bus

File photo

A Paola USD 368 bus pulls out of the school district’s lot in the city’s industrial park.

PAOLA — Paola school board members recently approved publication of the district’s proposed 2019-20 budget, and it includes a decrease in the mill levy, which is the rate in which the school district collects property taxes.

Jimmy Hay, the district’s director of finance, talked about the proposed budget during a special school board meeting Monday, July 29. The proposed mill levy is 53.029, which is a decrease of 1.5 mills from the current mill levy of 54.529.

Whether or not a homeowner actually sees a decrease in their property taxes will depend on how their assessed valuation changed. Other taxing entities, such as cities and the county, also have mill levies that play a role.

Even with the lower rate, Paola USD 368 is expected to generate more tax revenue thanks to an increase in assessed valuation of about 7.25 percent.

The total taxes levied for 2018-19 were $7,956,501, whereas the total taxes levied for 2019-20 are projected to be $8,278,544.

Hay said Paola USD 368’s current mill levy of 54.529 is one of the lowest in the region, with Osawatomie USD 367 at 59.280, Spring Hill USD 230 at 63.206 and Louisburg USD 416 at 64.861.

Hay said the budget also includes an increase in state aid of $859,821, as well as a local option budget revenue increase of $240,581.

Paola USD 368’s total budget is larger than many neighboring districts because it hosts the East Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative, which also serves seven other local school districts.

A complete breakdown of the proposed 2019-20 budget can be found on the school district’s website at

Community members can comment on the budget during a public hearing scheduled to take place during the regular monthly school board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, at the district office located at 1115 E. 303rd St.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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