Community kicks off push for school mill levy ballot question
September 1, 2010
FRISCO – To kick off a campaign to extend a portion of a property tax mill levy benefiting the Summit School District, numerous community members and officials – even a student or two – gathered Tuesday at the Summit County Community and Senior Center.
The Summit Board of Education recently voted unanimously to go to local voters with a school funding measure in November. Due to cuts, declines in revenue and new initiatives on the ballot that could further affect school funding, the school district is now asking voters to help make up the difference with a $2.1 million mill levy. The annual cost to a property owner with a $400,000 home would be $34.50.
“So much depends on what happens in November,” said board member Margaret Carlson at the Tuesday meeting.
According to Citizens for Strong Summit Schools chairperson Sue Wilcox, the mill levy could go to maintain or to back-fill the school district’s budget depending on a plethora of issues.
“If any of the initiatives pass – 60, 61, or 101 – it means devastation to our schools,” Wilcox said. “This is to protect against anything that happens there.”
Proposition 101, Amendment 60 and 61 are statewide initiatives on November’s ballot that could create funding shortfalls at the state level and then a trickle-down effect. If passed, school officials worry these measures could potentially impact district funds. Amendment 60 limits property taxes, and, if passed it would “re-Bruce” entities whose voters have exempted them from TABOR restrictions. In effect, it would require school districts to reduce property tax rates.
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Jennifer Wright, the campaign manager, said it’s important the community be familiar with the district’s financial issues.
“We need to have strong schools to have a strong community,” Wright said. “So, we must adequately fund it.”
And, because the district’s current additional mill levy is about to sunset, the new mill levy will still be less than what voters already pay, Wright said.
SDN reporter Julie Sutor contributed to this article. SDN reporter Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at email@example.com.