HOWARD — East Knox Local Schools are asking voters to approve a five-year, 1 percent earned income tax to pay for the district’s operating expenses. The earned income tax will not impact retirees or those on fixed income.
Superintendent John Marschhausen said the Board of Education chose the earned income tax option to reduce the burden on retirees.
“We have heard through the past several campaigns, and it is exacerbated by recent economic events, that folks on fixed incomes struggle with the property tax increases,” he said.
The median income in the East Knox district is around $35,000 per year. Someone making a taxable earned income of $35,000 will pay $350 a year to support the schools. Someone making $100,000 will pay $1,000. If an individual’s personal earned income or farm revenue decreases, the tax decreases.
Marschhausen said the levy is needed because district expenditures are greater than district revenues in spite of significant cuts and cost-reduction measures. And, he added, the district has not asked for additional operating revenue since 1998.
If the levy fails, additional cuts will have to be made to balance the district’s budget. Those cuts will include, but are not limited to, the following: Elementary and middle school specials such as art, music and physical education will have to be eliminated. Class sizes will increase, and all field trips disallowed. Bus routes will have to be combined and a participation fee charged for sports and extracurricular activities at the middle school and high school.
If the community supports the levy, the district will be able to continue at current operating levels.
Additional information about the levy can be accessed through the district’s Web site or by contacting the superintendent.