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School district plan second levy attempts

February 28, 2012

Deer Park and Riverside School District voters will get another chance to decide the fate replacement levy requests in April. The April 17 ballot measures, however, will have a different look after they were rejected by voters in the Feb. 14 election
The Riverside School Board has decided to reduce its educational programs and operations levy from $3.90 per $1,000 of assessed valuation next year to $3.42/$1,000. The original levy request received only received 39.3 percent voter approval.
In addition to lowering the operations levy request, the school board decided to drop the facilities and technology capital levy ballot measure, which also was soundly rejected by voters, only 32.3 percent voter approval.
School board members noted that passage of the new levy request should allow the school district to make up shortfalls in state funding as well as withstand ever increasing fuel and utility costs.
The Deer Park School Board, which saw its maintenance and operations request narrowly fail earlier this month (50.8 to 49.2 percent), will bring good news to voters this time around.
School district officials estimated a $2.59/$1,000 levy rate to generate $1.96 million next year. New assessment calculations show the figure at $2.46/$1,000 to receive the same amount in property tax revenue.
Both school boards note that passage is required this time or the school district will not receive any addition property tax revenues in 2013.
Another levy failure will also mean the Riverside School District will not be eligible for almost $2.5 million in state levy equalization funds. Deer Park will receive almost $2 million in those state funds only if the levy passes.

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