One of our very important civic duties is participation in the school election process. We all have a vested interest in decisions that affect our school and community. While we do not always agree on the best course of action, we need to come together and participate in the process.
Two items will appear on the school portion of the ballot. Two school board director seats will be open for your consideration. Incumbent directors Jennifer Slife and Avery Reed will appear on the ballot. The question of renewing the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) will also be on the ballot.
The PPEL ballot item is a renewal process not a new tax. The PPEL has been used by Alburnett to support facility updates for many years. Renewal means continuing to update technology, transportation, and building projects. Non-renewal means plans for future projects will be rewritten.
PPEL Funds cannot be used to operate the district – no salaries, no instructional supplies – only items that appear on the ballot can be supported with these funds. This includes items such as:
1) Facility Updates
- Additional parking lot in 2012-2013
- Repainting gym in 2012-2013
- Swings for playground in 2012-2013
- Additional playground updates in the future
- iPad carts for Elementary in 2012-2013
- Additional iPad carts in the future
- Annual upgrades for existing technology
- Expedition purchased in 2012-2013
- Final pay-off of 2 newest buses in 2012-2013
Why now? PPEL must be renewed after 10 years. Yes, 10 years have come and gone already! PPEL was approved by Alburnett voters during the 2004-2005 school year.
What is the same? The amount would remain the same at $.67/$1,000, and permissible expenditures such as improvements to buildings, purchasing equipment, and purchases of vehicles would also remain the same.
What is not the same? Income Surtax has been added to the proposed language. Districts that include this language have the ability to decide each year if it best for their community to support some of this revenue through income surtax. Doing so does not increase the amount generated. Instead it distributes the asking between property tax and income surtax. This additional language does not mean that income surtax would be included each year, but rather that it could be included. Additional changes to the ballot language include updates such as permitting expenditures associated with costs do to natural disasters.
You might also be interested to know that 336 Iowa school districts generate PPEL funds through property taxes and/or income surtax, and that the voter-approved portion of the PPEL generates approximately $100,000 each year for Alburnett. Voting, whichever way you vote, is an important responsibility. School Elections will be Tuesday, September 10th.