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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Tally of voter-approved supplemental school levies since ‘07 tops $1 billion

Since July 1, 2007, Idaho’s school districts have backfilled their budgets with more than $1 billion in supplemental property tax levies, Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News report. These short-term, voter-approved levies – property tax increases – have steadily grown over that time period; 91 of Idaho’s 115 school districts had a supplemental levy on the books in 2013-14, up from 59 districts in 2006-07, the budget year that ended on June 30, 2007.

Richert reports that the growth of the supplemental levies occurred as the state was cutting K-12 funding, and using money from the federal economic stimulus package to pick up some of the slack; but the locally passed supplemental levies replaced only a fraction of the money cut from state funding. His full report, including comments from candidates for governor and state school superintendent, is online here.

Voters pass 41 of 48 school bond, levy measures

Yesterday was Election Day in an array of Idaho school districts, and voters approved nearly $209 million in school levies and bond issues, reports Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News. Richert reports that voters approved 41 of 48 ballot measures for schools statewide. The biggest winner was Twin Falls, where voters backed a $73.8 million building bond measure to make room for a growing student population; the biggest-ticket ballot item was handed the election’s biggest loss, as a $92 million bond issue in the growing Bonneville School District was resoundingly rejected by voters. The closest calls: A levy in Wallace passed by just three votes, while a $4.8 million bond in Eastern Idaho’s North Gem district failed by just four votes. You can read Richert’s full report here.

CdA, Post Falls Levy Elections Today

Voters will decide today if the Coeur d'Alene School District will receive additional property tax dollars to help maintain education services for the next two years. Polls are open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. The district is asking voters to consider two supplemental levies on one ballot. If both measures are successfully passed, the district will receive $12.9 million per year from July 1 through June 30, 2013. A homeowner with a $200,000 home would see an estimated annual tax increase of roughly $68/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you plan to vote in a school levy today?