PPEL fund special election for H-W CSD
Fri, 02/05/2021 - 5:42pm admin
Marcie Klomp ~ News Editor email@example.com
HOWARD COUNTY - A special election is being held on Tuesday, March 2 regarding renewal of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy or PPEL. The current PPEL is set to expire June 30, 2021. The Howard-Winneshiek Community School District Board of Education is asking for a continuation of this levy that is voted on fore renewal every 10 years by registered voters of the school district.
The current levy rate is 67¢. This rate is equally divided between property and income surtax, so the entire levy amount does not fall on land or property owners.
The PPEL Fund is used by school districts for facility improvements, leases, equipment, technology and other purchases. Supt. Ted Ihns said, “PPEL takes the burden off using the General Fund.” Since the district is not asking for an increase, there will be no added taxes.
Not all school districts are up for renewal at the same time. Supt. Ihns gave some information from previous years.
• 2016-2017 — 23 of 23 school districts passed the measure, which needs a majority vote of 50% plus one for passage. The districts had 10 asking the maximum of $1.34 and seven were at 67¢.
• 2017-2018 — 36/37 passed with 20 at $1.34 and most at 67¢ or above.
• 2018-2019 — 17/19 passed with 13 going for the maximum.
Three area districts have gone for the maximum, including Decorah, Charles City and Osage. Riceville is at 99¢, and Turkey Valley, South Winneshiek and Howard-Winneshiek are asking for 67¢. New Hampton was not available.
The board of education is trying to be good stewards of the taxpayers by not going for the top amount, but staying in the middle area.
If the measure does not pass, it will shrink all the other funds to make up the difference.
Individuals could start voting absentee at the Howard County Auditor’s office on Feb. 1 through March 1.The last day to request an absentee ballot is Feb. 19.
Since this is not a general election or even a mid-term election, voter turnout is likely to be low. On March 2, there will be only two voting centers, Elma Memorial Hall and the Howard County Sheriff’s Office in Howard County and one from Winneshiek County, at Ridgeway Community Center, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.