December 21, 2016

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, voters in the Carroll Community School District will be asked to vote on a physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) in order to reconstruct the current Carroll Athletic Field (Stadium). My hope is that the following frequently asked questions will clear up some of the misinformation that may be out there regarding the PPEL, if it is approved.

BACKGROUND

Voters in the Carroll Community School District will be asked to implement a voter-approved physical plant and equipment levy in order to reconstruct the current Carroll Athletic Field (Stadium). The levy is more commonly known as a voter-approved PPEL (pronounced “pebble”).

A voter-approved PPEL Levy is a levy that can be used for a number of expenditures including construction of buildings, purchasing property, school buses, technology equipment, and energy conservation projects (Iowa Code 298.3). In the case of Carroll Community School District, the money would be used to reconstruct the current stadium. The levy cannot be used for staff salaries or supplies — those expenditures must come from a school district’s general fund.

There are two portions of the physical plant and equipment levy. There is a board-approved PPEL, where the Board has the authority to levy $0.33/1,000 of taxable valuation each fiscal year when the certified budget is completed. The second kind of PPEL is a voter-approved PPEL. A voter-approved PPEL, when approved by a simple majority, allows districts to levy up to $1.34/1,000 of taxable valuation.

The Carroll High School addition was paid for by a $0.67/1,000 taxable valuation voter-approved PPEL, which was put on the tax rolls in 1996-1997. Carroll Community School District has not had a voter-approved physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) since 2006.

FAQs

When is the election for the voter-approved PPEL?

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, voters within the Carroll Community School District will be asked to vote on the physical plant and equipment levy. Polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. The following precincts will vote at the polling places listed:

PRECINCTS AND POLLING PLACES

Carroll Wards 1,2,3,4, Maple River and Arcadia Townships — First United Methodist Church, Carroll.

Sheridan-Grant — Lidderdale Community Building

Pleasant Valley-Newton-Eden — Dedham City Hall

Washington-Roselle — Halbur Community Building

Wheatland-Kniest — St. Bernard Parish Hall, Breda

How much does this levy generate and for how long?

With voter approval Iowa school districts can levy a maximum of $1.34/1,000 of taxable valuation. Carroll CSD is asking voters to pass a voter-approved PPEL up to a maximum of $0.67/1,000 of taxable valuation. With the current property valuation in the district, $0.67/1,000 of taxable valuation will generate $629,000 annually. This money will be used to pay back money loaned to the district in order to pay for the reconstruction of the stadium. The maximum length of a voter-approved PPEL levy is 10 years.

Will the passage of this levy increase my taxes?

Yes, for the length the levy is in place. The district is asking to levy $0.67 per $1,000 taxable valuation. The average house in Carroll is assessed at approximately $125,000. The taxes for the average house would increase about $44.44 per year, if the voter-approved levy was approved.

(See chart for example)

Because of recent school-district budget deficiencies, why isn’t PPEL used to offset the general fund?

PPEL dollars cannot be used for salaries, textbooks or educational programs. The requirements to use these funds are very specific to maintenance, equipment, construction and remodeling.

What are examples of the types of things the levy can be used for?

If approved, the voter-approved PPEL will be used to reconstruct the Carroll Athletic Field (Stadium). The desire of the CCSD Board of Education is to use the voter-approved PPEL only for the cost to reconstruct the stadium and costs associated with with the reconstruction.

What happens if the levy does not pass?

The stadium complex will continue to deteriorate. Restrooms, locker rooms, and concession areas will continue to be inadequate.

The track will have to be replaced very soon if it is going to continue to be used. The district will have to budget other funds to construct a track, taking funds away from other infrastructure projects. The district will struggle to meet the maintenance requirements of our schools.

How does this levy impact the community/district?

A voter-approved PPEL would be used to renovate the current stadium that everyone in the community can be proud of. In addition, the stadium could be used by members of the community by having it open from dawn to dusk. The goal would be to increase the use of the stadium complex if it was reconstructed.

Where can additional information be obtained about a voter-approved PPEL?

Contact Rob Cordes, superintendent of schools, at 712-792-8001 or email rcordes@carrolltigers.org with your questions.

Respectfully,

Robert J. Cordes

Rob Cordes, Superintendent, Carroll Community School District