Elmwood voters down two income tax requests PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD/Sentinel Education Editor   
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 21:43
JERRY CITY — A 20-year run of levy support has been snapped for Elmwood Schools.
The request of voters to support two income taxes for continuing terms was soundly defeated tonight.
A 0.5 percent request was defeated 421-299; a 0.75 percent request also was defeated, 418-299.
Superintendent Tony Borton said he guessed voters were unhappy that the district was changing the levies, which have come up for renewal every five years, to a continuing term.
The 0.5- and 0.75-percent income tax levies are set to expire in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and have been on the books since the early 1990s.
Rather than ask voters to renew the issues for five more years, the district has asked for support to change the issues to a continuing length of time, which means they will never expire.
“We’re disappointed,” said Borton after results from the district’s 12 precincts were in.
The biggest complaint he said he heard from residents was the taxes were going to a continuing length.
“People simply want to vote every five years,” he stated. 
The staggered levies, earmarked for operating expenses, were last approved by voters in 2009 with overwhelming support.
The combined levies have generated $1,590,163 for the district this year, accounting for about 13 percent of the district’s $12,175,536 budget, according to district Treasurer LuAnn Vanek.
Borton said his experience in other districts has been if there has been a tax approved for 20 years, it makes sense to switch it to continuing status.
He said he is not ruling out returning to voters in November, and asking for five-year renewals of the levies.
He said he’s heard comments from the community that the district is not buying textbooks or offering programs.
Borton said he’s not sure where those comments and frustrations are coming from, and encouraged anyone with questions or concerns to visit his office to talk.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 09:31

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