About the editor:
This week we received notice that the Monticello Schools are charging an additional $ 1,299 per student, or more than $ 6,000,000 per year, to be borne solely by the county property taxpayers. That seemed like a lot so I checked it out. Interestingly, this is the largest increase allowed by law. The more I learned, the more outraged I became. The district claims they suffered budget cuts for 3 years. However, according to published budgets, the budget has increased by over 15% since fiscal year 2016-17. The school board also treads gently on taxpayers with just $ 20 to $ 40 a month. That's $ 240 to $ 480 a year for homes valued at $ 100,000 to $ 250,000, much more for higher-end homes. Additionally, local property taxes currently contribute $ 8,558,000 per year to the budget. The additional tax of $ 6,000,000 is a 70% INCREASE to our property tax. They say we need more teachers, but the district quota is a very low 16.2 students per teacher. Neighboring boroughs comparison 2020 per student: Big Lake $ 10,295, St. Michael Albertville $ 10,360, Buffalo $ 10,813, Elk River $ 11,298, MONTICELLO $ 13,392. Although our school board spends 18-29% more than our neighbors, it wants 10% MORE. By the way, one district actually spends a little more, Edina for USD 13,385 per student.
This outrageous, deceptively coded tax hike is ridiculous at any time, but in 2020, when many of our neighbors have lost their jobs, businesses, or worse, I cannot fathom the arrogance of the school board and administration. Please check this yourself at www.monticello.k12.mn.us. We must overwhelmingly reject this to show that we are not as stupid as the district believes. Unfortunately, many of us only learned of this money robbery recently, too late to challenge the incumbent school council members. But let's keep in mind that they will despise taxpayers in 2022 when the rest are up for re-election. Thank you for reading.
– Marshall Hogenson