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Tax Rate or Tax Levy Management:  Questions School Corporations Need to Consider

By Belvia B. Gray, CIPMA, Partner, April 05, 2018

As part of their project planning process, school corporations need to determine whether their goal is maintaining the tax rate (debt service of total tax rate) at a certain level or keeping the tax levy near current levels.

Deciding whether to pursue a tax rate or tax levy management strategy can be complicated, but considering these seven factors can make it easier:

  1. How long will the current debt service levy continue to meet the school corporation’s funding needs?
  2. Is the tax base projected to change in the short- or long-term (decline, stabilize or grow)?
  3. How will adjustments to the debt service levy impact circuit breaker losses?
  4. For school corporation’s eligible for the protected tax waiver: Will the protected tax waiver remain or will tax cap losses be managed another way?   
  5. How will TIF or other significant assessed value changes affect the school corporation’s tax base and the magnitude of circuit breaker losses?
  6. Will taxpayers support increased spending?
  7.  What is the right mix of spending vs. taxpayer relief?

The answers to these questions can help guide your school corporation toward the best solution to meet its capital needs. Umbaugh can assist you with thinking through these types of questions and developing a plan that meets your school corporation’s needs. Please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for assistance and more information.


Information in this article was believed current as of the date of publication. As you know, changes occur frequently. The information presented is of a general educational nature. Before applying to your specific circumstances, please contact us at


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