Springfield schools seeking to renew operating levy

The levy generates about $3.8 million annually, or about 4.5 percent of the district’s operating budget each year, according to Treasurer Dale Miller.

The levy costs the owner of a $100,000 home $224 annually. Approval of the renewal will not increase taxes.

School leaders said while the district is on firm financial footing, projecting a year-end cash balance of more than $20 million for each of the next five years, the loss of these funds would be detrimental to operations.

“We’ve made a lot of progress and we want to have the financial resources to continue that progress,” Superintendent David Estrop said.

The general fund supported by the levy pays teachers, administrators, aides, custodians and other staff as well as covering operational costs such as utility bills.

“If in fact the levy were not to pass, we would immediately feel the ramifications,” Estrop said, but added there are no specific programs or areas they’ve identified as at risk of cuts.

The Clark County Board of Elections has projected about 15 to 20 percent of Clark County voters will cast ballots in the upcoming election, and the district said low turnout is always a concern.

“Sometimes these things hinge on a few people,” said Kim Fish, communications consultant for the district. “We’re trying to remind everyone that the levy is coming up.”

Voters first approved this levy in 2000 and it was renewed in 2005 and 2010.

A 9-mill operating levy was approved by voters in 2006 and renewed by a large margin in 2011 as well.

The last time the district was on the ballot was in 2013 when voters approved a 2.2-mill “No New Millage” bond issue for security and safety improvements that did not raise tax bills.

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