• Loss of Mill Levy Override Means Tough Decisions for District 50

    3B

    The first pressing piece of business for the new District 50 Board of Education is what to do now that voters have rejected a mill levy override election. The $5.25 million tax was designed to maintain the status quo in district finances.

    By a 59 to 41 percent margin, District 50 voters joined taxpayers across the state in rejecting tax increases for education issues. The final numbers the Adams County Election Department show 5171 voters in support of the measure with 7529 voters opposing it.

    “These are difficult economic times for many in our community and we knew from the beginning of this campaign that a tax increase, even for a good cause, would be difficult to achieve,” wrote Superintendent Pamela Swanson in a message to the District 50 Community. “It is apparent that voters across the state do not have an appetite for tax increases at this time.”

    Swanson thanked the voters who supported the measure and those who worked for its passage. 3B was the first mill levy override presented to voters since 2002.

    Over the past several years, the state legislature has not been able to provide promised funding to District 50, forcing the Board of Education to dip into its reserves to balance the budget and minimize the impact on classrooms. The District’s Fiscal Oversight Committee looked at the financial trends and urged the Board of Education to put the question before voters.

    Swanson said the new Board of Education will begin assessing the impact immediately. “We will have to do more with less and will work hard to make budget decisions that continue to put children first.” She wrote. “Some difficult decisions must be made, but because our campaign was honest about our budget realities, these decisions will not come as a surprise to members of our community.”

    Posted November 14, 2013