Cedar Rapids school board to make final PPEL decision Monday

Members will vote on Sept. 9 special election

CEDAR RAPIDS — A September special election could be on the horizon for Cedar Rapids Community School District voters.

School board members will decide on June 9 whether to put a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy increase on the ballot for Sept. 9.

Board members discussed the resolution, which would increase the voter-approved portion of the levy to the state-allowed maximum $1.34 per $1,000 taxable valuation, during their most recent meeting May 12.

After that meeting, Executive Director of Business Services Steve Graham said he was confident that administrators could keep the overall tax rate stable for district residents even if voters approved the proposed PPEL increase.

The resolution board members will consider Monday includes increasing the levy for a decade, the maximum legal duration. The levy pays for facilities and operations improvements as outlined in the district’s master plan.

Cedar Rapids’ PPEL, with a rate of 67 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation, is set to expire July 1, 2015. In September, voters rejected a similar ballot question to increase the PPEL to $1.34 per $1,000 for 10 years while giving the board discretion to potentially use income surtax to fund part of the levy.

Board members have until 5 p.m. July 25 to approve the resolution and notify the Linn County Auditor in order to hold the election Sept. 9.

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