Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
By Margie Wuebker
New Bremen school tax renewal on ballot
NEW BREMEN - Voters in the New Bremen Local School District will decide the fate of a 1 percent income tax renewal at the polls Tuesday.
The levy each year generates approximately $1.55 million - 20 percent of the district's annual operating revenue.
Board of education members are seeking a continuing levy instead of going back to voters every five years.
Treasurer Deb Meyer said a continuing levy ensures financial stability because the need for revenue has not changed since the income tax was instituted in 2004. During that period, state money has dropped from 58 percent to 48 percent, she added.
Meyer also noted the district pays $5,000 in board of elections and attorney fees each time the income tax proposal appears on the ballot. Board member Kami Fox said the $5,000 represents money that could remain in the district and be used for other purposes.
In response to comments from district residents who claim a continuing levy takes future decisions away from voters, the board could repeal the levy in the future if the revenue is no longer needed, superintendent Howard Overman said.
School officials said the district has been fiscally responsible since the last renewal in 2009 by reducing the teaching staff and hours of support personnel, and increasing revenue through open enrollment. They do not foresee any changes to those reductions, according to Meyer.