2021 Supplemental LevyProviding tax relief while supporting education.
The TFSD has utilized a supplemental levy since 2011. The recommendation for this levy comes from a group of community members serving on the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC). They review district finances and needs and make recommendations to the School Board. The BAC endorsed the district pursuing $5.7 million for two years for the upcoming levy election.
The supplemental levy is a general revenue source and equates to roughly nine percent of the operational budget. It supports all aspects of the district. As a people-based organization, roughly 80 percent of the budget pays for staffing.
These funds allow our district to offer a wide range of programs for our students. We aren’t alone; 93 of Idaho’s school districts utilize supplemental levies to support their programs. These levies are more than a supplement, they are an important part of how our district operates.
In addition, in the spring of 2020, the TFSD reduced $2 million of expenditures to help keep the district’s budget balanced. The increase in the supplemental levy would help to bring back some of the positions that were cut, including much-needed custodial staff members.
The TFSD will be hosting an informational meeting about the supplemental levy
When: Thursday, February 25, 7 p.m.
Where: O’Leary Middle School Auditorium and Zoom (zoom link coming soon)
2021 Supplemental Levy Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is a supplemental Levy?
A: A supplemental levy is a two-year property tax that school districts can utilize for general operating expenses. The TFSD has utilized a supplemental levy for the past nine years to continue to offer robust programs to our students and to ensure adequate staffing levels.
Q: How does the district decide if it will pursue a supplemental levy?
A: The TFSD has a Budget Advisory Committee made up of community members who make recommendations to the TFSD School Board regarding ballot measures like the supplemental levy. The BAC meets every fall and evaluates the district finances and needs before making a recommendation.
Q: How does the district decide on the amount it will pursue with a supplemental levy?
A: The BAC can make a recommendation of an exact amount or provide the school board with options to decide on. This year, based on the needs of the district and the desire to lower taxes, the BAC recommended the district pursue somewhere between $5.5 million and $6 million on the 2021 supplemental levy. The school board heard this proposal and settled on $5.7 million, which in conjunction with other financial decisions will provide property taxpayers with a decreased tax rate while increasing funding for schools.
Q: How much funding will the TFSD receive if the supplemental levy is approved?
A: The TFSD currently has a supplemental levy through which it receives $5 million per year. This levy will expire for the 2021 tax year. The new levy would replace the existing levy and increase the amount the district receives by $700,000 per year.
Q: What does the supplemental levy pay for?
A: The supplemental levy is a general revenue source. The TFSD is a people organization. Roughly 80 percent of the district’s budget is spent on staff members. This means that the supplemental levy supports the district’s efforts to have adequate staffing which in turn supports the many programs we offer to our students.
Q: Why does the TFSD need a supplemental levy
A: In the spring of 2020 the TFSD reduced $2 million of expenditures to help keep the district’s budget balanced. The increase in the supplemental levy would help to bring back some of the positions that were cut including much-needed custodial staff members.
Q: How will the TFSD provide tax relief while pursuing an increase in the supplemental levy?
A: In the fall of 2020 the TFSD took steps to reduce the bond levy collections. This process included refinancing the bonds, which will save the community $13.7 million in interest payments. The process also reduced the annual collection to repay the bonds by $1 million. This lowered the overall tax rate from $4.28 to $3.63 per $1,000 of taxable property value. The district is poised to lower collections for the bond payments by another $1 million in the upcoming year. This would lower the tax rate even more to $3.56 even with the increase in the supplemental levy, if it is approved. This means tax payments will have dropped $119 per $100,000 since the 2018 tax year.
Q: If the district needs additional funds to pay for staffing, does that mean the district is overstaffed?
A: The TFSD has just under the state allowance for staff members in the certified (teachers, counselors, and librarians) and administrative categories. The TFSD does employ 51 more classified FTE (full-time equivalent) than what is provided for through state funding. These are critical positions in the TFSD including custodial staff members, safety and security aides, para educators, librarians, computer lab assistance, secretaries, and food service workers.