What is a Mill and What does this Special Election Vote Mean? - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

What is a Mill and What does this Special Election Vote Mean for Taxpayers?

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We have heard from many confused viewers about the special election on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 for the Fargo Public School District. Valley News Live asked Fargo School Board Member Jim Johnson to explain the vote in the simplest terms.

"It is a confusing topic, some people think it's a request to increase taxes, some think its a request to decrease taxes but it neither, it is a request to reauthorize taxing authority," said Jim Johnson.

In other words, the school board would like voters to allow them to raise taxes without another vote up to 150 mills.

But wait, what is a mill? A mill is a measurement of property worth and the mill levy is the tax. One mill for a $100,000 home is worth about $4.50.

Currently the Fargo school district mill rate sits at 139 mills.  Now what does the current mill rate mean in terms of how much property tax you will pay?

Let's say you own a $100,000 home and you are taxed at the current rate of 139 mills. You would pay $625.50 in school tax. If the school board decides to raise the mills to the cap, which is 150 mills, your tax rate would jump to $675. That would be a fifty dollar increase on a $100,000 home.

Johnson says if the vote is approved, the school board will have the option over the next ten year to increase the mill levy without a vote as long as they stay below the 150 mills.

Currently the mill cap is at 170, but come Tuesday, the cap will either be at 150 or 139.



A vote "YES" means you give the Fargo school board the authority to go up to 150 mills.

A vote "NO" means Fargo School District would freeze the mills at 139 mills.



Assessor's Value x Assessment Ratio x Assessment Factor x Mill levy =Gross Tax

The assessment ratio is 50% for all properties. The assessment factor is 9% for residential and 10% for all other classes of property. The mill levy changes every year. The current levy is 139.

An example problem is listed for a $100,000 home.

Assessor's Value (Home) x Assessment Ratio (50%) x Assessment Factor(9%)= Amount X Mill Levy = Gross Tax.

$100,000 X .50 X .09 = $4,500 X .139 = $625.50

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