The board voted unanimously Monday night to increase the debt service portion of the levy by 10 cents, which increases the overall levy to $3.14 per $100 of assessed valuation. The debt service will increase from 44.9 cents to 54.9 cents.

School of the Osage Board of Education has raised its tax levy for the 2017 fiscal year.

The board voted unanimously Monday night to increase the debt service portion of the levy by 10 cents, which increases the overall levy to $3.14 per $100 of assessed valuation. The debt service will increase from 44.9 cents to 54.9 cents.

There were no oral or written comments during a public hearing prior to the regular meeting Monday.

Tax rates are set to produce the revenues from property taxes needed to meet budget obligations, and are based on the assessed valuation of the district.

Based on the current valuation, the 2016 fiscal year levy would have produced $2.5 million, and $2.7 million is needed to cover the district's debt requirements. Had the board not increased the debt portion of the levy, the district would be behind its obligations by about $200,000.

School officials were quick to point out that the operating levy -- the total of the incidental, teacher and capital projects levies at $2.60 — remains the lowest in the state. Adding in the debt service levy of 54.9 cents brings the total to $3.149.

The bond issue to renovate the Heritage Building was approved for a certain amount of money, officials explained, based on assessed valuation projections. The assessed value has remained flat the last few years -- only 1.26 percent increase from 2016-2017 -- so the revenue generated has failed to grow to meet the district's needs.

"We need to increase by 10 cents because of the assessed valuation," Superintendent Brent Depeé told the board at an Aug. 14 work session. "If the assessed value comes in higher, then we can roll it back. If the district starts to grow and we see higher AV numbers, we can change the amount of money coming in."

He cautioned, however, that in talking with county assessors he does not anticipate any significant growth next year. He said some major commercial real estate sales and projects have been less than expected.

"Whatever growth we saw got eaten up by lower valuations on the sale of some properties," Depeé said.

Adjusted assessed valuation on which revenue is received increased 1.26 percent from fiscal year 2016 to FY 2017. AV for last year was $544,736,517 and rose to $551,598,668 for the current fiscal year.

Based on the new tax levy of $3.149 per $100 of assessed valuation, the district should receive $17,369,842 compared to $16,609,016 based on last year's tax rate of $3.049.