BRITT | Voters in the West Hancock Community School District approved a ballot measure that will provide additional revenue for technology, transportation, infrastructure and other needs on Tuesday, Sept. 11, during a special election.
According to the unofficial election results, 172 individuals, or 76 percent, voted to implement a 10-year Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, or PPEL, at a rate of 67 cents per $1,000 of the assessed valuation of taxable property within the school district to begin July 1, 2019. Fifty-five people voted against the measure.
“To me, it’s a win-win for everybody,” Superintendent Wayne Kronemann said Wednesday morning after the election. “I’m just happy people value education and value what we stand for here and providing a good environment for students and staff. That’s what it’s really about.”
Kronemann said the levy, which is expected to generate about $200,000 annually, will allow the district to “keep up and maybe get ahead” on building maintenance, like replacing roofs at the schools.
The levy can be used for a variety of district expenditures, including energy conservation, building repairs and renovations, transportation, technology and other equipment exceeding $500, but it can’t be used for staff salaries and supplies.
Even with the approval of the voted PPEL, residents will see a decline in their district taxes because West Hancock’s general obligation bond for the elementary school will be paid off in June 2019 — three years early, Kronemann said.
“We are trying to do what's best for our taxpayers," while looking to enhance the district to attract new students and new families and compete with neighboring schools, Kronemann said.
Currently, district taxpayers pay $1.75 per $1,000 of the assessed valuation of taxable property for the elementary school bond, but with the voted PPEL being less than that, the tax rate will be lowered by $1.08 and still generate revenue for the schools’ needs.
The district already had a PPEL in place for 33 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation on all taxable property, but it was approved by the school board, not the public. It generates about $97,000 per year.
“I want to thank (voters) as the superintendent, and on behalf of the school board, for valuing the school system and voting yes, so we can do things to make the district better for our students,” Kronemann said.