Education

Mount Vernon Schools look to extend PPEL in Tuesday special election

PPEL funds daily building and grounds needs

Mount Vernon Community High School.
Mount Vernon Community High School.

MOUNT VERNON — Voters in the Mount Vernon Community School District will decide whether to renew a 10-year property tax levy Tuesday.

The special election’s only polling place, Mount Vernon City Hall at 213 First St. NW, will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If approved by a simple majority of voters, the district’s physical plant and equipment levy, known as PPEL, of $1.34 per $1,000 taxable assessed value would be extended to 2022.

Set at the state’s maximum allowed amount, the $1.34 levy brings in about $430,000 annually to the district of about 1,400 students, according to school district documents.

The PPEL extension is the only item on the ballot, and a Linn County election official said low turnout is expected.

To vote, residents of the school district must bring a valid form of ID: an Iowa driver’s license, Iowa non-operator’s ID, military ID, U.S. passport, tribal ID, veteran’s ID or a voter ID card.

Iowa’s voter ID law took full effect in January and, later this year, regular school elections will combine with city elections.

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Mount Vernon Schools primarily use PPEL funds for daily repairs of buildings and grounds, according to the district. Iowa school districts are authorized to use the funds for school construction projects, building and grounds needs, equipment and school buses.

Voters in the Mount Vernon school district — which includes areas of Linn, Johnson and Jones counties — first approved this levy rate in 2001 and approved a renewal in 2010.

Since 2001, according to the district, PPEL dollars have been used to build a three-classroom addition to the middle school, build new tennis courts, replace middle school lockers and buy a piano for Washington Elementary school.

l Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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