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Vote in Tuesday’s FD school election

Board seats, PPEL are on the ballot

An important election will be held in Fort Dodge Tuesday.

The upcoming school election is understandably overshadowed by the November general election in which voters all across the United States will pick a president. The school election, however, will help set the direction of the Fort Dodge Community School District for the future. It is important that all local voters participate.

Voting will be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the school district’s new central office, 109 N. 25th St.

Voters will pick two members of the local Board of Education. Incumbents Dan Altman and Matthew Moritz are being challenged by Chrisstine Crooks-Rocha and Diane Pratt.

Voters will also decide if an existing tax that pays for equipment purchases and building repairs should be extended for 10 years.

The tax is called the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy. It is a property tax of $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable value that has been in place since 2013.

It is added onto the 33 cents per $1,000 of taxable value PPEL that the board levies on its own authority without a public vote. Thus, the total PPEL levy is $1.67 per $1,000 of taxable value.

The owner of a home valued at $75,000 pays $55.35 annually for the PPEL. For the owner of a $100,00 home, the PPEL costs $91.97 a year. The owner of a $200,000 home pays $147.60.

Lastly, the voters will weigh in on a statement outlining how the district will use its portion of the money from the statewide 1-cent sales tax for schools, which is called the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) Tax.

Historically, the district has used its share of that revenue to pay off bond debt for school building projects. Doing so averts the need to increase property taxes to pay off bond debt.

Retiring bond debt is included in the proposed statement along with acquiring technology, building schools, remodeling, and implementing energy conservation measures.

We urge everyone to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday.

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