School Board Signals Intent to Seek Property Tax Hike
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Voters in the Rochester School District will be asked to go to the polls this fall to approve a property tax increase, but the size of the increase has yet to be decided.
The School Board voted Tuesday night to approve a resolution calling for an operating levy referendum in November to provide the school district with additional revenues to avoid the steep spending reductions that would be needed to deal with a projected budget shortfall of nearly $10-million dollars in the 2016-2017 school year. The question of how large of a property tax to request will have to be decided before August 21st to meet deadlines for informing election officials and the State Department of Education.
The school district previously conducted a survey that found a majority of voters were generally in favor a tax hike to fund school operations once they were provided with information about the school system’s financial situation. That survey also found the level of support dropped off fairly quickly once the impact of the proposed tax increase exceeded $125 dollars a year on a home valued at $200,000 dollars.
The school district is planning to conduct a second survey in coming months to gather additional information that could be used by the School Board to determine the size of the proposed operating levy and the wording of the ballot question.