Poland residents will be receiving a flier in their mailboxes soon regarding the upcoming levy renewal for the schools. Interim Superintendent Don Dailey said while it is just a renewal, the school district can't take anything for granted.
"We can't afford to sit back believing this renewal will automatically pass," he said.
The levy was originally passed on Feb. 4, 2003. Dailey said it was passed at 6.9 mills and was renewed in 2008. This year's renewal of that original levy will collect at 6.2. Dailey explained that renewals often reduce in millage each time it comes on the ballot.
Levies can be new, replacements, or renewals. A replacement would renew the original levy at the original millage, which would raise more funds for the district. Renewals often renew at a lower millage because of growth (new homes and businesses) that take the original amount and divide it among more taxpayers. The same amount of the original levy is still collected, but with more sharing the pie, the millage for each resident and business is lower.
In 2003, the levy was passed at 6.9 mills and was expected to bring in $2,297,755. That dollar amount will remain the same, but the effective millage this time around will drop to 6.2 mills.
While renewals usually are approved by voters, Dailey said the Poland School District can't afford to take a chance on losing the funds. He said the district has made cuts and is running as leanly as possible. Any loss of funding would be devastating. One reason is the state's unfunded mandates.
"The state mandates we implement the new core standards, testing, and teacher evaluations," Dailey said. "These are mandated, but not funded by the state. We're expected to handle these items without additional resources, from our present budget."
Passing the renewal is important to keeping the budget in place and ensuring the future of the district. Dailey said the 6.2-mill levy helps cover the general operations of the district, including salaries. He said the operating funds will help in covering the state mandates.
He said the levy will also help the district continue the safety upgrades in each building as well as state required technology upgrades.
To keep costs down, Dailey is having the fliers put together from a donation, at no cost to the district.
The 6.2 renewal levy will appear on the May 7 ballot.