Duluth School Board Passes Levy Referendum to Voters

By KBJR News 1

August 20, 2013 Updated Aug 20, 2013 at 10:39 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Duluth School Board decided on Tuesday to let the district voters determine whether to extend a tax levy that will soon expire.

After sorting out all the confusion on the proposed levy options, Duluth School Board members decided to postpone indefinitely a resolution that would have given them authority to approve a levy without a public vote.

Instead board members approved a two-question referendum for voters to consider this November.

The first question on the ballot will ask voters to renew the current education levy with no property tax increase.

The current levy generates $4.4 million in revenue for Duluth schools.

The second question will ask voters to increase funding by $1.8 million, which would result in a tax increase of about $3.78 per month on a home valued at $150,000.

If voters reject the levy extension the district will lose $1.1 million in matching state aid.

Superintendent Bill Gronseth says he has full confidence in Duluth voters to renew the current levy.

"We need those funds to function this district, what it means is that we have faith in the people of Duluth that they believe in the future of our students, the future of our community, I'm hopeful that we can put our faith in the people of Duluth as we move forward," said Bill Gronseth, Duluth Schools Superintendent.

The bottom line is, voters will have the option to renew the current levy without increasing property taxes.

If voters choose to renew the current levy, the school district will receive an additional $1.1 million in additional aid.

If a levy is renewed by voters in November it will be in place for five years.

However, In order to receive that additional state government aid, a levy needs to be in place before the current levy expires in 2014.

The two question referendum will be on the general election ballot on November 5.

Jeremy Brickley
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