5/18/2017 1:35:00 PM Bonds on ballot
in North Branch Tues., May 23
This coming Tuesday, May 23 the residents in North Branch Area School District 138 are going to the polls to vote on three ballot questions. The district has adopted the logo and the catch phrase “Maintain-Improve-Invest” to describe the trio of ballot questions.
Question One asks for approval to sell bonds raising about $52 million to finance upgrades, security improvements, repairs and new furniture for classrooms. The second question seeks voter okay to use another approximately $11 million for construction of facilities, including a two-station gym and weight room for the high school. Question One must win approval in order for the second ballot question for the facilities bonding to be allowed.
The third question the district officials are putting to a vote is not generating debt, it asks permission for an annual technology levy on property tax statements. The levy would begin with 2018 payable taxes and would be authorized for 10 years.
North Branch calculated tax impact information based on a median house valuation in the district of $175,000. More specific costs for your property valuation can be estimated from a tool on the district referendum website, or you can also use the $175,000 median home valuation as a starting point. If your property is valued far in excess of this, add onto the estimated monthly tax impact of $9.50 total. If you have a parcel valued at half this median in North Branch-- reduce the tax impact costs of $9.50 per month by half, etc.
The second question-- due to the way it’s structured-- costs the owner of the $175,000 house (homesteaded) $4.50 per month (included in that $9.50 sum.) Question One’s debt service adds $1 per month to that same $175,000 sample residence.
The third question provides technology funding of $5 million over 10 years-- at a cost estimate of $4 per month on that same $175,000 value parcel. All three questions in total are $9.50 per month for the $175,000 sample residential parcel.
The School Board was unanimous in putting these questions for a vote. North Branch has not had a local levy vote pass in 15 years and the issue behind the need for funding from the community is because state per-pupil aid doesn’t keep up with inflation, maintenance and equipment replacement costs.
The polling place is at the North Branch District Education Center 38705 Grand Avenue. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you have an absentee ballot, don’t forget to send it back, filled out, so it arrives at the district office by Tuesday, May 23.