The Wabasso Public School Board of Education recently developed a mission for the future that focuses on empowering students to achieve their dreams, and one way it hopes to accomplish that goal is by maintaining its fiscal integrity.
To achieve that, the school district needs funding, and one of the ways those dollars can be obtained is through an operational levy.
The voters are going to be asked to approve a levy during an election being held Nov. 5.
According to Wade McKittrick, Wabasso School superintendent, who talked about the operational levy at a public meeting in Vesta Thursday night, the election is to renew, revoke and replace.
The renewal is the reason why the election is happening, as an operational levy was approved 10 years ago that is set to expire this year. The district hopes to renew that amount.
In addition it hopes to revoke a second levy that would expire in 2017 and then replace that with a new total levy of $1,035.11 per pupil. McKittrick said the intent would be to have one levy rather than two, so the voters are not being asked to approve another levy every five years.
The levy would allow the district to add $396,400 to the school’s general fund.
However, McKittrick said, not all of that money is coming form local property owners.
Through what is known as state aid, the school district receives an amount from the state that equalizes the local taxpayer amount.
Taxpayers pay 58 percent of the total amount, while the state picks up the other 42 percent. That state aid would not come to the school if the levy request fails.
So, the district would lose approximately $166,000 of “free money” if voters reject the proposed request.
McKittrick said the operational levy is not being used for new items but to maintain current programs.
Through a unique change in the way the operational levies work, taxpayers would not see a tax increase over what they had previously paid. In fact, said McKittrick, much of the property taxes would be reduced. For example a residence with an estimated market value of $100,000 would see a decrease of $1.10 over the past tax bill.
The election taking place Nov. 5 is being held in a number of locations in the Wa-basso District. That list is available at the school Web site. The polls are open that day from 5-8 p.m.