TFSD Supplemental LevyA continuation of the current levy to support school security, student activities, and staffing.
At the December 12, 2022 Board Meeting, the Twin Falls School District Board of Trustees voted to approve language to pursue a supplemental levy on the March 14, 2023 ballot. This comes after a recommendation from the District’s Budget Advisory Committee, proposing the District pursue a continuation of the current levy amount in the upcoming election, which was presented in November.
The Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) is made up of community members including business owners, retirees, individuals without students in the TFSD, grandparents, parents, teachers, and administrators. In making their recommendation, the BAC reviewed the TFSD overall budget, evaluated programs and expenditures that the supplemental levy provides funding for, and discussed property tax rates. The recommendation to continue the levy at the same amount allows the District to maintain programs and staff levels while not increasing the amount property owners pay in Twin Falls for this levy.
The Twin Falls School District will pursue a renewal of the current supplemental levy, which is a two-year levy, in the amount of $5.7 million. This levy supports all aspects of district programs including safety and security, student activities, and staffing. Without the levy, the district would potentially need to cut 70 classified staff members (teaching aides, cooks, secretaries, and custodians), 21 certified staff members (teachers and counselors), 6.5 administrators (principals, vice principals, district level administrators, and activities directors), and over 50 part-time positions like afterschool activities advisors and coaches. In addition, the supplemental levy pays for a large portion of the district’s safety and security plan, including School Resource Officers at secondary schools, armed security guards at elementary schools, and behavior support staff people at all levels. Lastly, the levy supports the District’s efforts to provide student activities free of charge. Without the supplemental levy, student activities like athletics, music, drama, and debate, would likely move to a “pay-to-play” system.
“Keeping the levy amount the same allows the TFSD to continue offering high-level programs while honoring our taxpayers who will likely see a decrease in their tax rate in the next tax year as market values across the Twin Falls community continue to increase,” said TFSD Superintendent Brady Dickinson.
The current levy cost taxpayers approximately $6.25 per month on $100,000 of taxable property value.
March 14, 2023
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
At your regular polling place.
Please bring a photo ID
Can’t make it in person on election day? Vote early or via absentee ballot:
Early in-person voting: Feb. 27-March 10, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Twin Falls County West
Overall TFSD Budget
Historic TFSD Tax Levy Rates
2023 TFSD Supplemental Levy – Frequently Asked Questions
1. How did the TFSD determine what amount it would pursue with the supplemental levy?
- The TFSD utilizes a committee made up of community members to make recommendations to the school board regarding financial matters. The committee began meeting in the fall of 2022 and reviewed the district’s finances as well as information about the current tax structure for property owners in the district. During 2021 and 2022 the school district collected $5.7 million each year through the supplemental levy. While that number might seem like a lot, it actually only makes up roughly 10 percent of the district’s operational budget.
- Based on the needs of the district and the desire to address property tax rates, the committee made a recommendation to the school board that the district should pursue a continuation of the current levy rate for the 2023 supplemental levy cycle. The school board heard this recommendation and approved the recommendation for $5.7 million at their November board meeting.
2. Why does the TFSD need a supplemental levy?
- The Twin Falls School District has been utilizing a supplemental levy for 12 years. Originally the district pursued the levy during the Great Recession to help keep district programs whole as state funding decreased. State funding is just now nearing pre-recession levels but increased costs continue to put pressure on the district to maintain programs solely on state funding. The levy does not supplement but rather is a necessity to continue the current level of programming and support for students. This includes safe and secure school facilities with school staff members directly responsible for ensuring students are safe; ideal class sizes where teachers can teach effectively and all students are provided the attention and support they need; engaging activities for students with a wide variety of interests that do not require upfront payment for students to be able to participate; sufficient numbers of staff members focused on supporting all aspects of the school operations so that teachers can focus on teaching.
3. How much funding would the TFSD receive if the supplemental levy is approved?
- If the supplemental levy is approved, the TFSD will receive $5.7 million a year for two years.
4. My assessed property value went up so won’t this levy raise my taxes?
- Most likely, no. Because the levy generates a defined amount ($5.7 million), as property values increase, the levy rate decreases to keep the amount the same.
5. It seems like the TFSD pursues a levy all the time. Why is the district pursuing additional funds?
- Supplemental levies only last for two years. This means that to continue the funding the district must pursue a new levy every two years as well.
6. What does the supplemental levy pay for?
- TFSD is a people organization. Roughly 80 percent of the budget goes towards staffing which provides programs and support to students. We employ roughly 1,500 people every year and the supplemental levy is one way that we are able to ensure we have enough people to effectively maintain and operate our schools.
- Without the levy, the district would have to cut roughly 70 classified staff members (teaching aides, cooks, secretaries, and custodians), 21 certified staff members (teachers and counselors), 6.5 administrators (principals, vice principals, and activities directors), and over 50 part-time positions like after school activities advisors and coaches.
- The levy also supports the District’s efforts to maintain a safe learning environment. Without the levy, the District would not be able to provide school resource officers at the secondary schools, security guards at the elementary level, and behavior support personnel at all levels.
7. I keep hearing in the news that more money is being distributed to schools. If this is true, why does the District still need a supplemental levy?
- Districts across the country received federal funding for COVID relief. While this funding was an incredible increase for our school district, it can only be spent on very specific things. To spend these funds, the District must illustrate how they provide COVID mitigation or recovery support. Additionally, this funding is a one-time revenue source. Meaning, the District can’t use this funding to pay for any expenses that would be ongoing, like staff members’ salaries.
- The State has committed to increasing funding to be distributed to schools in the next year. While the District is grateful for this increase, there are still lingering questions about how that funding will be allocated across all the schools in the state and whether there will be specific purposes or strings attached to how the District can spend this funding.
8. How will the levy, if approved, affect my taxes?
- The District is proposing a renewal of the current levy for the same amount. This means that if nothing changes with the market values of properties across our community, the tax amount you pay for this levy will stay the same. As we see Twin Falls grow and new homes and properties become part of the tax base, the rate at which taxes are collected to fund this levy decreases. Meaning, if your home’s value remains the same and property value across the community increases, the amount you will pay for this levy will be less than in the previous years.
9. How will the levy improve our community?
- Maintaining a quality education system will contribute to the economic development of our community and will help prepare the future workforce our community needs. The community’s continued support of education is one of the major factors that make Twin Falls an attractive place to live. In addition, many local businesses have struggled to recruit skilled workers. Continuing to improve education in Twin Falls will provide a “home-grown” workforce.
10. Who can vote?
- Registered voters who have resided in the TFSD boundaries for at least 30 days prior to the election may vote in this election. If you have not registered to vote, you may register at the polls. You will need a picture ID and proof of residence. You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years of age.
11. When is the election?
- March 14, 2023, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition, eligible voters have the opportunity to vote early with mail-in ballots and early in-person voting at Twin Falls County West, 630 Addison Ave. W.
12. Where do I vote?
- At your regular polling place. To determine your polling place or for more information about absentee voting, please visit idahovotes.gov or call Twin Falls County Clerk at 208-736-4004