8/30/2013 9:59:00 AM Chisago Lakes seeking referendum
The Chisago Lakes School Board will put a ballot question to residents of the school district this November looking to generate $225 per pupil unit in local property tax revenue. The district school board also has adopted a Board-authorized levy for next year that will bring in $300 per pupil unit. This taxation power was newly-granted to school boards by the legislature and is in effect for five years. If the voters okay it; the voter-aproved levy runs for 10 years. Chisago Lakes will hold its referendum voting Nov. 5 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters will go to polling places at the Chisago City Community Center, the High School in Lindstrom and Taylors Falls School.
The state legislature also created new funding called “location equity” and because a south section of the Chisago Lakes District lies within Washington County, this location equity is at the metro rate, a plus for the district. Chisago Lakes stands to receive $424 per pupil unit in this aid. The big picture for financing then, includes $300 as the Board-only authorized revenue, another $424 in location equity and the $225 being asked as a voter-approved levy per pupil unit. The previous “excess” or local funding that existed was a $400.96 per pupil unit levy. The net increase per pupil unit could be $548. How much each individual property owner pays to generate this amount varies depending on your property value.
There will be tax impact information at several meetings providing the public with details about the referendum issue in coming weeks. (See chart.) Superintendent Joe Thimm is also looking forward to presenting financing information to local civic groups. To schedule a presentation, call 213-2000. Chisago Lakes hopes to add back elective courses at the middle school that have been cut for budget reductions, return choir to the high school, enhance technology availability throughout the schools, and a host of other improvements in the district with the revenues.