Re-1 School District to seek increased tax mill levy

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MEEKER I Meeker School District RE-1 voted Aug. 20 to seek an increase in taxes on the Nov. 5 ballot, raising income to fund the district’s current $540,000 budget deficit, to maintain classroom size and support staff, and to add to the district’s capital reserve fund.
District officials did not know what the increase in taxes will mean to the average home or business owner, but the Rio Blanco County Assessor’s Office said that the increase, which comes out to a .924 mill increase in property taxes, will translate to an increase in taxes of roughly $14.71 on a $200,000 home (roughly an increase of $7.36 on a $100,000 home or roughly $3.68 per year on a $50,000 home). The Assessor’s Office also stated that an increase of $53.59 would be levied against county businesses valued at $200,000 (roughly $267.95 on a $1 million business, roughly $26.79 for businesses valued at $100,000 or $13.39 for business valued at $50,000).
Meeker School District Board President Iris Franklin reported at the meeting that the committee set up to decide how much the district would seek for an increase reported that “It is most important to fill the budget deficit … maintain current class sizes …and add to our capital reserve.”
“I am glad to see this ($790,000) figure,” Board Member Paul Nielson said. “I would be apposed to going after everything we can get.”
The motion to move ahead with the tax increase was made by Nielson and seconded by Board Member Jerry Oldland to “seek a $790,000 a year increase with the measure not to be sunsetted.”
(If the increase had been sunsetted, the board would have had to decide on how many years they wanted to impose the tax. By not sunsetting the increase, the tax hike will remain in effect.)
The vote received unanimous approval from the board members, with member Bill deVergie absent.
New MSD Superintendent Mark Meyer said the board will put the levy measure on the Nov. 5 ballot.
If the measure passes, the increased taxes will not show up until the 2014 tax bills come out and it will be in the 2014-15 fiscal year that the income will be passed on to the district.