Liberty School District’s Board of Education plans to keep property taxes from rising this year. However, they may ask voters to go to the polls in November to approve higher taxes to support the schools in future years.
During a public hearing tonight, the board will consider a proposed property tax levy of $4.9 for operating expenses and $1.195 for debt service, which is exactly the same as last year’s levy. Although district officials say they need an operating levy of $5.0435, according to state law they are not legally allowed to ask for more than $4.9 without asking voters for more funding.
Later in the meeting, the board will consider proposing a special election asking the voters to authorize increasing the tax levy ceiling to $5.3300.
When the current recession began, the district was about to begin construction of Liberty North High School, to ease overcrowding. Over the past decade, enrollment in the Liberty School District has increased from about 7,000 to almost 11,000 students.
Current expansion needs include phase three of development at Liberty North, new science labs at the old high school, a multi-purpose district stadium and a new elementary school. The district projects these expansion costs will total $41 million. Phase three at the new high school consists of 71,000 more square feet of general classrooms and science labs as well as athletic fields.
Citizens of the Liberty School District may voice their opinions at the tax levy hearing scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. in the administration building, 650 Connistor. This year’s tax levy hearing will take place during the monthly board meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. with a closed session to consider confidential matters such as legal, staff and real estate issues.
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