Holton board seeks "continuous" approval for capital outlay
The Holton school board, in a public notice published on Page 6B of this edition of The Holton Recorder, is asking patrons for approval of a "continuous'' mill levy for the school district's capital outlay fund, instead of "renewable'' one.
The board at its meeting here Monday evening approved a motion seek a “continuous and permanent annual tax levy (for capital outlay) in an amount not to exceed 8 mills.”
The board's practice up to this time has been seek approval for the capital outlay mill levy for five-year increments. That means, every five years the district (through the publication of a public notice) currently gives the voters notice that it would like to renew its capital outlay mill levy for another five year time period.
“The benefits of a continuous capital outlay would allow the board to have planning opportunities for the future and still make the decision to levy the mills needed up to eight for capital improvements,’’ Supt. Dennis Stones said. “This will also allow the board to begin making some much-needed improvements to the middle and high schools and assure themselves of not losing the levy in the middle of a project.’’
Supt. Stones said the capital outlay fund mill levy for the school district would continue at 8 mills. "It's not a tax increase,'' he said. "The district has had this capital outlay mill levy for several years.''
Currently, 1 mill generates $42,379 in local tax revenues in Holton USD 336.
Stones said the full 8 mills for capital outlay will be needed for at least the next nine years to be able to meet lease purchases payments on the new edition at the high school.
Having the continuous authority to levy 8 mills for capital outlay every year would not mean the school board must levy 8 mills every year, Stones said.
Capital outlay funds for school districts can be used to such purchases as real estate, computers, school buses and for the repayment of bond issues.
District patrons, according to the public notice published in this issue, if they oppose the “continuous’’ nature of the resolution, could petition the district to place the question on a special election ballot or the next general election ballot. The petition would have to be signed by no less than 10 percent of the qualified voters in the district within 40 calendar days of the last publication of the resolution.
Opposing the “continuous’’ capital outlay plan would not prevent the school board from planning for the district’s financial future. It would require that the board continue to seek patron approval for the capital outlay levy every five years, as is the current practice. Holton patrons have never opposed the board’s capital outlay funding requests under the current practice.