Milroy approves levy ballot questions

By Per Peterson

After months of discussion, the Milroy School Board on Monday moved forward with plans for two ballot questions this fall by passing the election resolution calling for the election in November on a unanimous vote. The first question will read:

School District Question 1

Approval of Capital Project Levy to Fund Technology and Maintenance

The board of Independent School District No. 635 (Milroy) has proposed a capital project levy authorization in the amount of 3.83% times the net tax capacity of the school district. The proposed capital project levy authorization will raise approximately $120,000 for taxes payable in 2021, the first year it is to be levied, and would be authorized for ten years. The estimated total cost of the projects to be funded over that time period is approximately $1,200,000. The money raised by this authorization will provide funds for the purchase, replacement, support, maintenance, and training of technology, the purchase and replacement of curricular materials, building maintenance, and the purchase and replacement of equipment.

Voters will vote yes or no to “Shall the capital project levy authorization proposed by the board of Independent School District No. 635 be approved?”

Following that question, voters will be given the second question.

School District Question 2

Revoking a Portion of Existing Referendum Revenue Authorization

The board of Independent School District No. 635 (Milroy) has proposed to revoke a portion ($1,160.09) of the school district’s existing referendum revenue authorization, effective with taxes payable in 2021.

Voters will vote yes or no to If School District Question 1 is approved, shall a portion ($1,160.09) of the school districts’ existing referendum revenue authorization also be revoked by the board of Independent School District No. 635?

Matthew Hammer with Ehlers was connected via phone to answer any questions that came up prior to passing the resolutions. A concern voiced by board chair Kim Jenniges during discussion is that the ballot legally needs to say following question one “By voting ‘yes’ on this ballot question, you are voting for a property tax increase.”

“By doing this, saying yes to the capital projects levy and saying yes to the revoking, that would then shift some of that tax burden a little bit, decreasing for our residential and a slight increase for our ag land,” Jenniges said. “And every situation is going to be very, very different.  On the actual ballot, it says by voting yes you are voting for a property tax increase. But aren’t they going to be voting for a decrease in question two then?”

“That’s the legal language that is required to be part of the ballot,” Hammer explained. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense but it is a required statement. That second question is actually a decrease.”

“It takes a look overall how we can take a look at shifting some of the resources around and giving the voters the opportunity to take a look at rebalancing the tax burden,” Hammer further explained. “In total, the district is going to have approximately the same amount of revenue, it’s just a shift of the tax burden.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.