After the razor thin failure of a substitute levy in November, the Swanton Board of Education went a slightly different route as they look to keep a revenue stream for the district.
Voters will decide on a five-year, 3.2-mill renewal levy in the May 3 primary election. The levy collects a fixed amount of $825,000 per year.
The amount collected each year does not change, but the amount each property owner pays has dropped since it was first approved in 1996. It was originally collected at over 6-mills and has dropped due to the increase in property value in the school district.
“It is 5 1/2 percent of our current revenue and still a critical piece of our funding,” said Superintendent Chris Lake.
The substitute levy, which would leave the same tax collected from current property owners, but allow additional collection from new construction, was defeated by two votes in November.
Since the levy is one that has been on the book for awhile, Board members felt it was important that it specifically say it was a renewal.
“The board felt as though the verbiage on the November ballot was confusing to the voters,” Board President Kris Oberheim said when it was decided to go with a renewal levy. “While the substitute levy would only be an increase to new construction, the confusion of ‘substitute’ versus ‘renewal’ is, ultimately, not worth the fail.”