Genoa schools: Voters to decide 5.25-mill levy

Larry Limpf

For the third time in a year, voters in the Genoa school district will decide a levy issue when they head to the ballot box in November.
The school board and administration are seeking passage of a 5.25-mill, 5-year operating levy that will generate about $1.04 million annually if voters approve the measure.
Voters rejected a 4.9-mill levy issue last November and a 5.9-mill issue this past May. As an inducement for passing the previous 5.9-mill levy, the board and administration agreed to eliminate student fees and pay-to-participate fees if the levies met voter approval.
However, the board changed course and reduced the millage of the current levy and the fees will remain in effect even if the upcoming levy passes, said Bill Nye, district treasurer.
He said the district began deficit spending by more than $223,000 in its operating budget for the previous fiscal and he is projecting the deficit spending to increase to approximately $360,000 for this fiscal year that began July 1.
Deficit spending could surpass revenues by nearly $1 million in the next fiscal year.
The district has realized a net loss of about $285,000 in state funding over the past two fiscal years, Nye said, adding the school system last passed additional millage in 2015.
In 2020, the board approved a reduction of about $135,000 in spending through staff cuts and trimming the pre-school program when the state reduced education funding to balance its budget.
“Even with the implemented cost reductions and savings, our district is still in need of financial support from the community in order to balance the district’s budget going forward,” the district website says. “This levy would continue to help provide the quality education and programs our students have come to enjoy and benefit from and that our community taxpayers have come to expect.”
The district has set up a tax calculator on its website for property owners to determine the cost for the 5.25-mill levy.
For the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000 the additional millage will cost $15.31 per month.
A levy committee of residents and school officials has been handing out informational flyers about the levy at athletic events and is considering a door-to-door campaign.


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