40 school districts go to the ballot for levy approvalby Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Forty Minnesota school districts have tax levy referendums on Tuesday's ballot.
About half of the requests ask voters to continue existing operating levies, while the other half ask for increases.
The requests range from $1 per student to $2,000 per student, said Greg Abbott, spokesman for the Minnesota School Boards Association.
One rural Minnesota district proposes reducing its operating levy by $300 per student.
"Different communities have different levels of support. It depends on your tax base and what you can charge, it also depends on how much that's going to affect your property owners because it affects them in different ways in different areas of the state," Abbott said.
Minnesota districts are required to get approval from voters to continue or increase their levies, which provide schools with local taxpayer funding to pay for operating expenses, like teacher salaries and classroom supplies, beyond what the state offers. A handful of districts are asking voters to pitch in tax money for building and technology projects.
"Unlike a city or a county or what the state does, they can't continue their levy indefinitely, they have a 10-year cap on it," Abbott said.
At 40, the number of school levies on the ballot is relatively small. That's because districts prefer to avoid busy election years for levy requests. Last year, 130 school districts had levy requests on the ballot.
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