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Benson school referendum passes

Lead Summary

A vote to raise District 777’s levy referendum passed with 55.7 percent of the vote 653 to 520. The levy won by 133 votes.
The new levy will raise the current levy of $720 per pupil unit by $480. The current levy raises a total of $684,853 in additional funds for education.
Not all of that $1,200 per pupil unit levy will come from local taxpayers. The State of Minnesota is kicking in 30 percent of the cost; local taxpayers will contribute $840 and get $360 from the state.
The approved levy increase means a homeowner with a $50,000 house will pay an additional $71 in real estate taxes in 2014. If your home is worth $100,000 you will pay an additional $142 and if your home is worth $200,000, an additional $284.
For farmers, the additional levy applies to the home, garage and one acre of land. Seasonal recreational property was exempt from the levy’s taxing authority.
The school board could have sought a maximum additional levy of $1,845, but agreed to $1,200.
Referendum                    Vote                  No
Yes                                 653                   55.7
No                                  520                   44.3
Total                              1,173
Two years ago, District 777 voters approved an additional levy for education that was supposed to run through the 2015-16 school year. However, due to declining enrollment and the resulting lost state aid for education, the school board was forced to make $637,500 in cuts as well as seek additional funds from taxpayers.

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