Substitute Levy may be on Ballot this year

With a $1.5 million Emergency Levy needing renewal before the end of this year, the Monroe School Board has a new tax levy option available to it. This new levy type, called a “Substitute Levy,” was recently created to aid growing districts like Monroe. In the past, school districts chose Emergency Levies because the taxes collected don’t reduce the funding provided by the state.

However, Emergency Levies collect the same amount each year. The $1.5 million Emergency Levy raises the same revenue as it did in 2000 with no allowance for growth or inflation. Even as the community grows, the district still collects the same amount. This means that the district must constantly come to the voters for additional revenue just to stay up with growth and inflation.

With a Substitute Levy, as new residents and businesses come into Monroe, they will pay the same millage that the original levy collected. This means that the district will see a tax revenue increase as students move into newly built homes, without raising taxes for the current homeowners and businesses. The district will receive additional revenue from new growth only. The Substitute Levy is a welcome alternative to continually renewing and passing new Emergency Levies.

The district has a total of three Emergency Levies, only one of which is due to expire in December of this year. The other two expire in 2010. It is anticipated that the district will use the Substitute Levy to replace the expiring $1.5 million levy. If not passed this year, the district will automatically lose revenue next year, even if voters were to approve the levy early in 2010.

The State is currently looking at changes in school funding, and the School Board will need to assess the best way to approach the other two levies before the end of next year.

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