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South Tama School District voters will be asked to decide three issues in a special election set for Tuesday, March 3. The STC School Board received petitions which qualified to require an election be held and voted to proceed on Monday, Jan. 6. Approval is sought for a $20.8 million bond issue and an additional $8.2 million in other school funds to pay for a $29 million middle school addition to the STC High School in Tama. The funding mechanism is built on three parts: •passage of a $20.8 million bond issue. •approval of exceeding the current levy limit of $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation to $4.05 per $1,000. •permission to use a one-cent sales tax revenue (Secure and Advanced Vision for Education - SAVE) through approval of a revised revenue purpose statement. “Throughout the process, the district and board have used an open and transparent process to fully examine the middle school’s needs and review a range of possible options,” STC Superintendent Jared Smith said in a news release issued Wednesday afternoon. “We believe the questions that will be presented to voters March 3 represent the best possible solution to our needs, while also eliminating the need to raise property tax rates. We look forward to more productive conversations about the future of the STC Middle School as we move forward.” According to information provided by the school district the new middle school will not result in a hike in property taxes. “The debt service levy is one component of the overall tax levy rate of the district, “ Mary Boege, district business manager told The Chronicle in response to questions about the upcoming vote. “Over the past few years, the district has worked hard to put itself in a stronger financial position. Having achieved these important goals, the district will be able to fund necessary operations and issue the new bonds for the project, while using a portion of the district’s annual sales tax revenues to lower the debt service levy rate to keep the district’s total tax levy rate stable,” Boege said. “This will keep the district’s property tax levy rate in the upcoming budget the same as this past year.” The SAVE fund amount totaling $5.9 million is “projected revenues to be received” according to Boege. She noted SAVE revenue has been used in the past to pay for the high school addition and property tax relief. The amount of $2 million on hand by the district “is the result of surplus sales tax revenues collected over the past few years in anticipation of potential capital projects” Boege related.



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