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Levy renewal means district could maintain programs, superintendent says

MABEL — The Mabel-Canton school district will ask voters Nov. 8 to renew the district's existing operating levy.

The district receives an operating levy of $1,207.96 per pupil, and the school district would like to extend that an additional 10 years, said Superintendent Michael Moriarty. The state average school district operating levy is $986 per pupil.

The current levy was approved by district residents in 2006. It expires at the end of the school year.

Moriarty wasn't sure where Mabel-Canton's operating levy ranks compared to other districts in the state, but he said the district places fourth-highest amongst schools in their conference.

"Schools with higher operating levies include Spring Grove, LeRoy and Grand Meadow, Moriarty said. "Houston is also close, with an operating levy just over $1,000 per pupil."

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Tax effect

If the measure passes, taxpayers will not experience an increase in the school district levy portion of their property tax bill.

A property with a market value of $50,000 would be taxed $161, a market value of $100,000 would be taxed $232 and a market value of $200,000 would be taxed $645.

For agricultural property, the taxes for the proposed referendum will be based on the value of the house, garage and surrounding one acre of land only. There will be no operating levy taxes paid on the value of other agricultural lands and buildings.

For seasonal residential properties, like cabins, no taxes will go toward the proposed levy.

With voter approval, the levy will provide the district with $364,983 in funding each year.

Plans for funds

Renewing the levy, Moriarty said, means the district would be able to "maintain the current level of curriculum offerings in both the elementary and high school and help maintain current student-teacher ratios." He said it also would keep textbooks and equipment up to date.

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"Renewal of the operating referendum will help the district maintain stable finances in light of uncertainty with state funding," Moriarty said.

The revenue also would be available for any needed repairs to the school building, he said.

The district had public meetings about the referendum last week.

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