Madison-Plains to seek renewal of income tax levy

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(Posted Jan. 26, 2021)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

At a special meeting on Jan. 25, the Madison-Plains school board voted to place a levy renewal request on the May 4, 2021, election ballot.

The request is for renewal of the district’s 1.25 percent income tax levy. If passed, the levy would continue to apply to earned income only. The renewal is for a 10-year period. The levy was first passed in May 2018 and is due to expire in 2023.

If renewed, the levy would generate an estimated $2.3 million per year for the school district. Fluctuations in earnings could mean minor changes to that amount.
Without the levy renewal, the district will “fall off the fiscal cliff” in 2024, said Superintendent Chad Eisler.

The district is estimating a total cash deficit of more than $1.4 million over the next two years. Without income tax funding, the district will run out of resources to mitigate cash losses, Eisler said.

“(The levy) does not solve all of our problems, but this is a step for us in trying to stabilize district finances,” he said.

“We’ve been very mindful of expenses. We’ve been working to reduce expenses… and we’ve done a good job of keeping expenses down. But the cost of education continues to go up. So, we, like every other district, need to continue to look at our revenue stream and do what we can to make sure district finances are stable.”

District leaders say a 10-year term for the renewal would allow them to stabilize finances and better plan for the future.

“We won’t be able to continue on without it,” Eisler said of the levy. “It’s paramount to us.”

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