Twin Falls School District’s Upcoming Supplemental Levy
You may have a lot of questions regarding the upcoming Twin Falls school district levy. Will it impact our taxes? Didn't we just pass a levy? The Twin Falls school district has provided a Q and A to answer all your questions.
Q: How did the TFSD determine that it would pursue a supplemental levy?
A: The TFSD holds regular Budget Advisory Committee meetings to make recommendations to the school board regarding budgetary needs. This committee is made up of parents, students, business members, retirees, TFSD staff and one board member.
Q: Why did the Budget Advisory Committee recommend a continuation of $9 million over two years?
A: For the past two years, the TFSD has been operating using a supplemental levy of $9 million ($4.5 million per year), which was passed in 2013 and expires June 30, 2015. While there are additional needs that will not be met by the supplemental levy, the committee determined that maintaining the current levy rate would not put an additional burden on the community and would allow the district to continue to offer the same level of services.
Q: Didn’t the TFSD just pass a levy last year? Why is the TFSD pursuing additional funds?
A: The bond levy that the community supported in 2014 was a facilities bond levy, which must be used on the facilities projects identified at the time of the election. By law, the TFSD cannot use funds from the 2014 bond levy election for other operating costs.
Q: Governor Otter just proposed additional funding for public education. Won’t this cover the District’s costs?
A: Yes, Governor Otter did propose additional funding for public education; however, this proposal still needs legislative support to become a reality. Of the proposed $20 million in operational funding, the district would receive roughly $600,000 or three percent. At this point we don’t know if that money will be targeted for specific purposes. The reality is that the TFSD is behind in our adoption of new technology and curriculum, which we were not able to replace due to funding cuts in the economic downturn. The average age of a computer in the TFSD is about eight years.
Q: If the community passes the supplemental levy, what will the money be used for?
A: $9 million over two years ($4.5 million per year) is roughly 10 percent of the TFSD operating budget. Money from the supplemental levy will be used in many areas including, but not limited to, teacher and support staff salaries and benefits, textbooks and curriculum materials, and general classroom supplies.
Q: How will the levy impact my taxes?
A: Because the levy rate will stay the same and because Twin Falls has an expanding tax base, the average property owner is likely to experience a reduction in the amount of tax paid.
Q: How will the levy improve our community?
A: Maintaining a quality education system will contribute to the economic development of our community. The community’s continued support of education is one of the major factors that attracts new businesses to Twin Falls.
Q: Who can vote?
A: Registered voters who have resided in the TFSD boundaries for at least 30 days prior to the election may vote in this election. If you have not registered to vote, you may register at the polls. You will need a picture ID and proof of residence. You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years of age.
Q: When is the election?
A: March 10, 2015, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Q: Where do I vote?
A: At your regular polling place. To determine your polling place or for more information on absentee voting, please visit www.idahovotes.gov or call Twin Falls County at 736-4004.