PAYETTE — With its two-year supplemental tax levy set to expire in 2021, the Payette School District Board of Trustees approved a resolution in December to send a renewal to voters. The board submitted its ballot language in January for the March 9 election, as required under Idaho Code 34-439A.
During the board’s regular meeting on Feb. 8, Chairman Andy Kirkendall asked trustees to review their list of registered voters and find those voters they felt could use more information about the levy.
“Payette School District has had this supplemental levy in place since 2013; it is not a new tax burden,” wrote Superintendent Robin Gilbert in a Feb. 15 email.
The levy collects a total of $400,000 per year, and is required to be renewed every other year. According to Gilbert, new home construction and increasing property values in the taxing district have helped spread out the levy’s burden on Payette taxpayers, a lower rate per $100,000 of assessed value each year being the result. Following is a levy rate table cited by Gilbert.
• 2017 - $92.42 per $100,000
• 2018 - $87.52 per $100,000
• 2019 - $74.94 per $100,000
• 2020 - $67.86 per $100,000
According to a neutral information flyer provided by Gilbert, school-related property tax increases would not occur if this renewal is approved by voters.
“Levies are a school districts’ only form of replacing the significant reduced state funding since tax laws were changed in 2006,” according to the flyer. “Most districts in Idaho operate on one or more types of levies just to meet the basic needs. Payette is no different.”
According to Gilbert, the levy provides monies to support the district’s career technical education programs including welding and nursing programs, music, band and art programs at McCain Middle School and Payette High School, and keeping district technology and curriculum current.
“Textbooks are now digital and expire,” wrote Gilbert.
According to her, the future of district programs would be uncertain if the levy renewal were to fail. District officials would, however, need to figure such out if it did.
“We have not yet determined which programs or items would be cut, should this levy not be renewed,” wrote Gilbert. “All $400,000 is accounted for in our annual budget to cover current costs. The board must operate within a balanced budget and we are committed to being fiscally responsible as stewards of local and state funds.”
The renewal requires a simple majority to pass.
Voters seeking additional information about the March 9 supplemental levy election can call and make an appointment with Superintendent Robin Gilbert or Board Clerk Barbara Choate at (208) 642-9366.