Mill – A unit of measure for taxation purposes, calculated at a value of .001, or 1/1000th.
Mill Levy – The mill levy is determined each year by dividing the total amount of dollars needed by each political subdivision (city, county, schools, etc.) from the property tax by the total taxable value of the City of Fargo. This, in effect, ends up being the percentage of taxable value that is levied or assessed in property tax annually. The mill levy is a composite of several entities' tax levying powers. In Fargo, since there are three school districts involved (Fargo, West Fargo & Kindred), there are three different mill levies.
Specified Mill Levy – An exact number of mills allowed to be levied by a vote of the public. Once known as an “excess levy,” this is the amount allowable above and beyond the state cap.
General Fund – General fund revenue is derived from property taxes, state funding, federal grant funding, tuition, and other local/county resources.
Building Fund – A state or citizen approved fund allowing for a mill levy specifically for the purpose of construction or maintenance of a district’s physical plant. Fargo Public Schools has a state authorized building fund levy of 15 mills and also has a voter approved levy of 11.4 mills (approved in 1991). The maximum voter approved levy is 20 mills, which is separate from the state authorized building fund levy.
Taxable Value – Taxable value refers to a percentage of the city assessor's appraisal according to a state-prescribed formula, after exemptions are removed. To calculate annual taxes for a property, the taxable value is multiplied by the mill levy.
Special Assessment – A tax placed on property owners by the proper taxing authority (city or county) for the purpose of civic infrastructure improvements (water, sewer, streets, etc.).
Bonded Debt – Debt secured by the issuance of bonds for the purpose of construction or capital improvement.
Special Reserve Fund – A state authorized fund allowing school districts to levy mills for the purpose of building a reserve for operational purposes. This fund has a cap of three mills and can accrue to a value of 15 mills maximum; 50% of the funds collected may be transferred to the general fund annually.
Payment of Tuition – A contracted payment made to another school district or educational entity for students receiving services outside of the district in which they reside.