HOWARD — The East Knox Board of Education is asking residents to approve a five-year, 4.97-mill emergency operating levy. If passed, the levy will generate $1.2 million to help pay for every day expenses of the district such as salaries and benefits for regular and special education teachers, bus drivers, custodians, extracurricular activities and administrators, bus fuel, all utilities, textbooks and instructional materials.
Treasurer Jessi Busenburg said owners of a home assessed at $100,000, with the state rollback reduction, would pay an additional property tax of $12.68 a month ($76.08 a half or $152.16 a year).
If the owners are senior citizens and have applied for the homestead exemption, that $100,000 valuation would be reduced by $25,000 and result in an additional tax of $9.51 a month ($57.06 a half or $114.12 a year).
For a home valued at $125,000, the tax before the homestead exemption would be $15.85 per month ($95.10 a half or $190.20 a year); a $150,000 residence would be $19.03 per month ($114.18 a half or $228.36 a year); $175,000 in valuation would be $22.20 per month ($133.20 a half or $266.40 a year; and for a home assessed at $200,000 the tax would be $25.37 per month ($152.22 a half or $304.44 a year).
If the district receives no new revenues, Busenburg said, the district will be out of money at the end of the next school year, in spite of stringent cost containment measures already taken. Those budget cuts include, but are not limited to: No base salary increases for any employee for two years; reduction in insurance benefits for all employees; the elimination of 15 full-time equivalent positions over the past two years; the reduction or elimination of many supplemental contracts for sports and extracurricular activities; the elimination of one bus route; the elimination of all field trips; and the elimination of all elementary specials such as art, music, physical education, computer and library.
Busenburg added that federal grant money received by the district, such as that for the new after school program, must be used for designated purposes and cannot be used for routine operating expenses.
For more information about the levy call the board office at 599-7493.