As much as an increase in taxes puts a sour taste in my mouth, I am still planning to vote for Local Ballot Initiative 3A in November.
I realize that Amendment 66 (designed to fund Senate Bill 213) is supposed to provide more money for public education. However, Amendment 66 is projected to underfund Senate Bill 213 by $170M. There is no guarantee our district will benefit from these monies.
Amendment 66 is funded by an increase in personal income taxes. Taxable income below $75,000 will be taxed at 5 percent instead of the current 4.63 percent. Taxable income above $75,000 will be taxed at 5.9 percent instead of the current 4.63 percent.
Local Ballot Initiative 3A is a mill levy override, which will increase property taxes within the Meeker School District. If passed by the voters, 100 percent of the revenue will go directly to our Meeker PreK-12 schools. The state can’t touch it.
A mill levy override is the only away to remedy our school district’s budget shortfalls with money we can control and which the state has to leave alone.
This is a complicated issue. I have watched our school district try everything possible to cut the budget.
One of the most obvious impacts to me is larger class sizes. Our teachers are doing their best not to let this affect our children’s education, yet. But, Meeker is one of three school districts in the state that will see an even further reduction in per-pupil funding (ours is the greatest) this year because of the way the School Finance Act plays out.
All of the other 173 districts in the state will see an increase of $170/student. The net impact to our school district is, therefore, a negative $325,000.
We, as a community, can’t let our schools suffer. We have to increase our own taxes for the sake of our kids. It is the only remedy at this point.
Meeker always pulls through at times like these. We can do it again. Thanks for voting for our kids with Local Ballot Initiative 3A.