HOWARD — On Tuesday, residents in the East Knox Local School District soundly rejected a proposed property tax levy to help pay for the operation of the school district.
Unofficial results show the levy failed by a margin of 79 percent of voters against the levy to 21 percent in favor of the levy.
“Student achievement and a well-rounded education will continue to be our focus,” said Superintendent Matt Caputo. “Yet, the economic reality for all of us is that we will continue to review what programs and services we can reduce or eliminate. We will look at ways we can build capacity with our current resources and improve partnerships with the community and other stakeholders.”
A persistent drizzle did not deter East Knox residents from turning out to vote in the special election. The voter turnout was roughly 30.5 percent of the district’s 5,896 registered voters. A fairly steady flow of voters in the morning kept poll workers busy at East Knox High School and Floral Valley Community Center. Marilyn Magers, a poll worker at the EKHS site, said 70 people had voted by 11:30 a.m. “The rain hasn’t kept people away,” she said. “I guess the cool rain feels pretty good.”
The noon count at Floral Valley’s four precincts was about 225 individuals. “It’s been steady,” said poll judge Judy Allender. “We haven’t been as bored as we thought we’d be.”
Voters exiting the polls had varied reactions to the five-year 4.97 mill operating levy. Comments ranged from “It’s important” to “We’re against it” to “It’s a crock.”
“We think it’s a lot of money,” said Betty Matson. “I know it’s needed, but for retired people, it’s hard to think about that much (money). We were sorry to hear how much it cost to put on the special election.”
Retiree Bob Matson said it’s hard to pay all the taxes with no increase in revenues. “My income doesn’t go up,” he said.
The school board has already taken the steps necessary to place the issue on the November ballot, and the papers will be filed with the Board of Elections today.
Regarding the school board’s plans to try again to raise operating money, Betty Matson said, “They must feel like it’s necessary.”