7.5 mill Continuous Operating Levy: Get the Facts
The Board of Education voted on and unanimously passed a resolution of necessity during the regular meeting on November 20, 2023, to begin placing a 7.5 mill continuous operating levy on the March 19, 2024, ballot. The second resolution will be recommended to the Board for approval on December 18, 2023, and the issue will officially be placed on the March ballot.
What does this mean for the District?
Based on the current five-year forecast, the administration will look at $8 to $10 million in total permanent reductions over four years beginning in the 2024-2025 school year under this scenario. These are mandated reductions due to the loss of collection time following the failure of the November levy. Reductions will include:
- Reduction of personnel impacting administration, certified staff, and classified staff across all buildings and departments in the District would be determined by student enrollment, program requirements, and service requirements.
When possible, reductions will primarily occur through attrition.
Redistricting that will occur during the 2024-2025 school year at the elementary level will allow for consolidation and reduction in personnel and programming.
The District's goal is to maintain the current level of programming and services for students that it has been fortunate to implement over the last eight to ten years. Those programs and services have included:
What will stakeholders see on the March 19, 2024, ballot?
On the March 19, 2024, ballot, stakeholders will see a 7.5 mill continuous operating levy that will generate approximately $14 million annually. The collection will begin with the January 2025 tax bill if the voters approve. Since the District runs on a fiscal year starting in July and ending in June, the District will collect approximately half the levy in the 2025-2026 fiscal year. The District has not asked for new money since 2013.
What does it mean for taxpayers?
The cost to taxpayers will be approximately $263 per $100,000 of the auditor’s total value per year or approximately $22 per month per $100,000 or $5.06 per week per $100,000. To see a complete breakdown, see below. The amounts are estimates.
All dollars raised by the levy remain with the school district and are not shared with other municipalities. It is important to note as property taxes increase, the amount received by the District remains consistent.
Why is the District seeking a continuous levy?
With a continuous levy, the District can provide consistent academic programming with long-term financial stability. With a continuous levy, the District will not need to return to taxpayers with repeated renewal requests. This does not mean the District will not need to request additional operational dollars in the next five years even with implemented reductions based on the current five-year forecast recently approved by the Board of Education.
What is the difference between a continuous and emergency levy?
A continuous levy provides long-term financial stability, whereas an emergency levy is term-based, typically five or ten-year terms requiring the District to return to taxpayers more often. Should an emergency levy renewal not pass, the District loses those operating dollars until a renewal is passed.
What will happen with the Yellow Plan?
Currently, the Board has decided not to pursue a bond for facilities. The Board, however, continues to explore future options to move forward with the Yellow Plan, which would accommodate, at minimum, a 5-6 grade building and a 7-8 grade building.