vote3On Tuesday, April 5th the West Burlington Independent School District will hold a vote to enact a Voted Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). It is the intention of your elected school board to use the additional funding on priorities such as roof work, classroom updates, and building improvements, while also substantially lowering the total amount of money our district taxpayers pay in school district taxes. Following are some questions you might have about the VPPEL.

When is the vote and where is the voting location?

Polls are open Tuesday, April 5th from noon to 8 p.m. at the WB Catholic Church on Mount Pleasant Street, the typical voting location for our area.

Does the district currently have a Physical Plant and Equipment levy?

The district has a non-voted 33 cent PPEL which generates $51,000 annually and is used for facility repairs and general maintenance. The district had a VPPEL in place previously and is asking for it to be renewed.

What can PPEL funds be used for?

PPEL has a limited scope of uses including transportation, technology, facilities and facility upgrades, and maintenance.

What are the details for the Voted Physical Plant and Equipment Levy?

The board is asking for a $1.34 per $1,000 taxable valuation which will generate an estimated $209,000 each year. If approved this would be in effect for ten years.

How will this affect the typical resident’s property taxes?

Because of your school board and superintendent’s work on this year’s overall budget, your property taxes will go DOWN with the passage of the PPEL.

Although passage of the $1.34 VPPEL will, for example, collect an additional $73.70 on a $100,000 home for the school district’s Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, your school board is able to cut several other levies in the budget to more than offset the VPPEL.

Assuming the VPPEL passes, the district’s current (fiscal year 2015-2016)   $16.21 overall levy will be lowered to $13.79, which is an overall drop in the school district’s total levy of $2.42 per $1,000 taxable valuation. This means with voter approval of the $1.34 per $1,000 taxable valuation, the same $100,000 homeowner WILL PAY $133.10 less in school district taxes for fiscal year 2016-2017.

This is the 5th year in a row the school district has reduced its total property tax levy while maintaining an excellent 20% solvency ratio (cash reserves) for the school district.

What are the immediate uses of VPPEL funds?

  • Replace deteriorating elementary playground equipment.
  • Improve the elementary north parking lot by creating a safer and more efficient student drop off and pick up area as well as add more parking spaces for staff. This will open up available parking along the street.
  • Improve food quality for the elementary students by converting the kitchen into a food prep and serve kitchen.

What are some possible long range uses for VPPEL funds?

  • Roof replacement and repair
  • Bus and van replacement
  • High school kitchen upgrades
  • Heating and cooling updates
  • Technology
  • Classroom and educational spaces upgrades and repairs
  • Facility upgrades
  • High school gym and cafeteria air conditioning

The West Burlington School Board cordially invites you to look at our immediate facility needs firsthand.

March 19th at 10:00 a.m. You will have a chance to hear about our plans for the north parking lot, playground, and elementary kitchen. School officials, including board members will be present to answer questions. Meet in front of the elementary building at 10 a.m.

March 21st from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. will follow a similar format as mentioned above. The regular board meeting begins at 6:00 that evening. There will be a public hearing at the March 21st school board meeting to listen to public input on the VPPEL election.

Keep your eye out for fundraising activities to help defray some of the playground equipment costs. A committee of citizens is organizing some fundraising activities which will be family friendly.

If you have questions or concerns contact any board member or superintendent David Schmitt at david.schmitt@wbschools.us or (319) 752-8747. Kids First!