School District Vote On Operating Levy Could Increase Property Taxes

The operating levy for Duluth Public Schools passed in 2013 and is below the state average.

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth voters will soon be making decisions about potentially changing the current operating school levy.

A move that could mean an increase in property taxes.

The operating levy for Duluth Public Schools passed in 2013 and is below the state average.

It’s scheduled to expire next year.

On Thursday night the school board voted on the intent to move forward with an operating levy referendum.

The district uses the operating levy to manage class size and update curriculum for strategies designed to close the achievement gap.

The current operating levy for the district is around $800 per studentĀ and the current voter approved operating levy of right around $372 is set to expire in 2018.

Over the next few months questions for the Nov. 8 ballot will be finalized.

“If the levy is renewed that’s not a tax increase it’s just a continuation of what was already in place,” said Duluth Public Schools Superintendent Bill Gronseth. “There could also be another question that would increase the amount that the school district receives for reducing class size or other strategies that we’ve heard from people and so that would be a tax increase.”

If the referendum isn’t successful the school district would need to make reductions to maintain a balanced budget.

Those details will be discussed in August’s school board committee meeting and regular school board meeting.

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