The Sioux County School Board meets in special session tonight at 6:00 to lower the special building fund levy portion of the overall budget passed last month.
The general fund budget and levy are unchanged in the proposed amended version.
At the Sioux County school district’s budget hearing and at the regular meeting that approved the overall budget, a number of landowners urged the board to reduce the tax rate and provide some relief for district patrons.
The focus for many of them is the new elementary school, tentatively scheduled to begin construction this school year to replace the existing building, which doesn’t meet ADA requirements.
Bids for the project came in well over estimates, leading the school board to ask the architect and low bidder to come back next month estimates for modular and steel buildings as well as traditional brick-and-mortar.
Even without having firm construction costs, Sioux Count Supt Dr Bart Gies has proposed reducing the special building fund levy by refinancing the $4.9-million dollar package secured earlier this year.
The interest rate is 1.35%, well under current rates, and Dr Gies worked with Security First Bank, which holds the construction note, the state Dept of Education, and the State Auditor’s Office to restructure and lower the payments.
The lower payments mean the property tax levy needed to pay for them can be reduced as well from $774,000 to $387,000 – lowering the tax rate from 14-cents to 7-cents per hundred dollars of assessed value.