Note: The bond, if the board approves it, will be on the February ballot, not the April ballot. The month has been corrected below.
The Blaine School District will be asking voters to approve a replacement maintenance and operations levy in February.
The school board approved putting the levy request on the ballot at a meeting Monday night, Oct. 24.
The four-year levy would bring-in between $6.1 and $6.5 million each year from 2013-2016. When voters approve a levy, they are approving the maximum amount of money a district can collect in property taxes from residents – the tax rate may fluctuate, but the bottom-line amount the district receives can’t be above the approved amounts.
The estimated tax rates go from $1.62 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value in 2013, to $1.68 per $1,000 in 2016. The projected levy tax rate for 2012 is $1.45.
The main reason for the increase in the tax rate is due to the state allowing school districts to collect more money from tax payers, in an effort to offset some of the state-level budget cuts. The current maintenance and operations levy accounts for about 25 percent of the district’s budget, according to Superintendent Ron Spanjer.
The district is also considering putting a $3 million bond measure to voters in April February. While the school board has not officially approved putting the measure on the ballot yet, members did give the district the go-ahead on working toward that goal.
The proposed projects the bond would pay for include: remodeling the high school science building, relocating the middle school and high school Life Skills programs to their respective campuses, retrofit lighting at the high school, upgrade heating at the middle and elementary schools and expand the security camera system at the elementary and primary school campuses.
This is the third time the district has attempted to get a bond passed to make repairs at the high school. The last attempt in April was a $32 million bond request, and 59 percent of the voters supported it. Bonds need at least 60 percent of the votes in order to pass.
The school board will consider the bond measure at the November meeting.