Financing new Clear Fork elementary schools


By Zach Jones - zjones@civitasmedia.com



Zach Jones | The Star The audience fills the Clear Fork High School auditorium on Oct. 21 to hear the district's options for new elementary schools.


Clear Fork residents who responded to the school district’s survey agree that they want new elementary school facilities.

The state has offered to finance 61 percent of new construction costs, meaning 39 percent of the project must be financed at a local level.

Despite the large initial cost of building new elementary schools, the district would be able to finance the project by renewing the current school tax levy for the next 20 years.

“Clear Fork is a not a typical school district,” Scott Ericson Director of Rockmill Financial said to the audience at the district’s Oct. 21 community meeting. “The district is very strong financially.”

The current levy taxes 1 percent of residents earned income, which does not include IRA distributions, interest income, dividends, unemployment or capital gains.

“The district’s tax levy is a 1 percent earned income tax,” he said to those in attendance. “Renewing the 1 percent income tax will finance option 1 or 2. It also allows the district to continue to operate.”

However, the tax alone is not enough to finance option 3, and it may only partially fund some locally funded initiatives (LFIs), which are defined as additions to the buildings such as extra classroom space and community auditoriums.

To finance the additional estimated $14 million needed for option 3, the district would need to increase taxes.

Should the Clear Fork School Board decide to move forward with the elementary construction project, a renewal of the tax levy would be placed on the upcoming March ballot.

Zach Jones | The Star

The audience fills the Clear Fork High School auditorium on Oct. 21 to hear the district’s options for new elementary schools.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2015/10/web1_IMG_55511.jpgZach Jones | The Star

The audience fills the Clear Fork High School auditorium on Oct. 21 to hear the district’s options for new elementary schools.

By Zach Jones

zjones@civitasmedia.com