2017 Plant Facilities Levy
The Twin Falls School District would like to invite the community to learn about the upcoming plant facilities levy election slated for March 13, 2018. The TFSD is currently operating with a ten-year plant facilities levy approved by voters in 2008. The TFSD has utilized a plant facilities levy since 1958.
The TFSD Board of Trustees voted unanimously at their December 11 meeting to pursue a continuation of this levy when it expires June 30, 2018. The school board came to this decision after hearing a recommendation from the district’s Budget Advisory Committee to maintain the current levy rate.
The BAC, a committee made up of community members, parents, retirees, students, and some district staff, deliberated on its recommendation throughout November and December. After examining the current district finances and evaluating the needs of the district, the BAC voted unanimously at its meeting Thursday, November 16, to recommend the continuation of the current levy.
The committee discussed the need for continued funding specifically designated to maintaining and updating the district aging buildings. They also discussed the age of many district buildings. The average aged of TFSD Schools, excluding the four newest schools, is 53-years-old. In addition the committee heard a presentation for the school district regarding maintenance projects that are in need of completion.
When and where can I hear about the Plant Facilities Levy?
When: Tuesday, March 1, 7 p.m.
Where: O’Leary Middle School Auditorium
Q: What is a plant facilities levy?
A: The plant facilities levy allows districts to collect property tax money to maintain their facilities. The TFSD #411 has utilized a plant facilities levy since 1958. The district used this levy to repair parking lots, replace heating and cooling systems, enhance security, mend roofs, and modernize technology infrastructure.
Q: Didn’t the TFSD just ask for a levy last year?
A: Last year, the TFSD #411 asked the community for a supplemental levy. Supplemental levies help with operations and can provide additional staff and resources to schools. Plant facilities levies can only be used on the facilities within the district.
Q: What will the money do for the district?
A: The TFSD #411 has a lengthy list of critical updates and maintenance projects that need to be completed. While the district has been able to maintain buildings in the past thanks to the plant facilities levy, there are schools where roofs need to be replaced, furnishings and technology need to be updated, parking lots need to be resurfaced, and heating systems need to be modernized. The district plans to prioritize this list and complete the work with the funds available.
For example, the district plans to improve the entrance security at our older schools. If you have visited any of the new schools you know that the only door visitors can enter leads directly into the office. Our older schools were not designed with visitor security in mind. In many cases, the front door is located away from the office and it is a challenge to get visitors to check in with the office staff. While the price tag is unknown at this time for these projects, they are facilities projects with which the plant facilities levy could help.
Q: How will the levy affect my taxes?
A: The amount requested by the district results in a decrease in the tax rate. Most property owners would see a slightly smaller tax payment for this levy than the levy it is replacing, unless the value of their property has increased.
Q: How long does the levy last?
A: Plant facilities levies are ten-year levies. The district would be able to utilize money collected through the levy every year for the next ten years. The district has used a plant facilities levy for the past 60 years.
Q: How much would the district receive from the levy?
A: The TFSD #411 is asking for $4.75 million per year. While this amount would not complete all needed maintenance and facilities projects, it would allow the district to work, as it has in the past, to keep up with the most needed repairs and modernize our oldest buildings.
Q: When and where do I vote?
A: You can vote March 13, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at your regular polling place. You can also visit the Twin Falls County West Building (630 Addison Ave. W.) between Feb. 26 and March 9 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) to vote early, or to request an absentee ballot.