School levy before voters Nov. 7 funds daily operations

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There are three key points District 777’s Board of Education and administration would like to make about the upcoming operating levy vote that will take place Tuesday, Nov. 7:

First, it will not increase property taxes over their current levels since it doesn’t add a new tax, but simply maintains the current levy. In fact, taxes will actually drop by a few dollars.

Second, this levy does not apply to the vast majority of agricultural land in the county. It taxes only the house, garage and one acre of land. It also taxes residential, commercial and business properties. It is not levied on recreational property.

Third, if the levy is not approved it would mean substantial cuts in the courses and programs Benson Public Schools are able to offer its students.

The proposed operating levy raises about $500,000 that goes toward basic school district operations – programs, salaries, supplies and other essential basics that go into educating the district’s children.

“This levy funds the day-to-day operations of the school district,” Supt. Dennis Laumeyer said. “If it expires at the end of the year we would be short about $500,000, which would mean there would be a significant adjustment that would have to be made.”

Here is what property taxpayers are currently paying to support education through the levy and what they would pay next year if it were approved:

2017 Operating Levy

 

Taxable Market Value 2017 Payable 2018 Payable Net Change
$50,000 $68 $68 $0
$75,000 $103 $102 -$1
$100,000 $137 $136 -$1
$150,000 $205 $203 -$2
$200,000 $274 $271 -$3

$250,000

$342 $339 -$3
$300,000 $411 $407 -$4
$350,000 $479 $475 -$4
$400,000 $548 $543 -$5

The proposed levy would apply for six years and would increase each year by the rate of inflation.

Only four people attended the public meeting on the levy Oct. 16. Those people raised questions about what it was going to do with district facilities as far as maintaining and upgrading them. They also asked questions about raising even more from the levy to help with facilities. Others were wondering why the school district wasn’t also doing a bond levy to raise funds for facilities....

Voting Location

The polls will be open Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Benson Armory (203 14th St. S. in Benson).

Who is eligible to vote?

You may vote if you are a U.S. citizen, a resident of School District 777, and 18 years of age or older by November 7, 2017.  Voters may register at the poll on Election Day with appropriate identification showing residency within the district....
 

Civic center

Benson Public Schools should be able to get into the north side of the Civic Center late this month, or early in November, as CNH vacates the building.

CNH has an environmental group that will come in and make sure there is not extra clean up that needs to be done, CNH Plant Manager Jason Hausauer told the school board. “Once that is all done, it is good to go,” he said. Need that signature first before anyone else goes in there. “If we make a mess, we want to make sure we clean up our mess,” he said.

Benson’s CNH has leased the space for years, but this past spring notified the city that it would be moving out in the fall. That opened the possibility for the school district to use the 14,000-square-foot area for its gymnastics program as well as other events. The gymnastics program would need about half the space....

 

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest news, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

 

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