KALISPELL - Kalispell School District voters will be asked to consider a $1 million-elementary district general fund levy on May 8.
The money would help cover the $1.5 million shortfall from 2017 and would also help the district properly prepare for 2018 with the new Janette Rankin Elementary School opening in the fall.
If the levy is approved, it is estimated to raise annual property taxes on a $200,000 home by around $50.
It is already calculated that next school year over $300,000 will be cut from the elementary district budget and the Kalispell Public School Trustees voted 4--to-1 on earlier this week to put the levy on the May ballot.
Chairman Lance Isaak was the only dissenting vote, because he believes they need more than $1 million to cover the cuts they will experience over the next two school years. He added that he understands that asking the community for more money can be hard, but says the board is constantly working to lower the tax increase.
“School mechanisms or school budgets are complicated. There’s some areas such as transportation that you can’t use money for anything besides transporting kids. So, is there a way we can reduce those mills so that the tax burden is not as great when we increase the levy in the general fund.”
Along with the levy vote, residents will be asked to vote on the district purchasing a 12-acre lot of land for a future elementary school site.