Dora voters approve resetting school levy with .10 increase
Dora residents voted Tuesday to approve a request to renew the Dora School District's current tax levy with a .10 increase, approving the measure 93 to 43 (68.4 percent for the measure, 31.6 percent against).
Superintendent Steve Richards said Tuesday night, "We're very excited that we can continue the amount of funding we normally receive from the state through the Small Schools Grant. We feel like we've made a lot of improvements and added technology and textbooks for our students, and we've been working on the salary schedule. With the approval of this levy, we can continue to improve all facets of the school district. Thanks to our voters for approving this measure."
In a March 7 story published in the Times, Richards said approving the operating levy increase carried extra importance because it brings the district's levy back to the 3.43 level where it qualifies for the state's Small Schools Grant, which provides an additional $120,000 to the school's budget each year.
Richards said that for all but one of the years since Dora voters passed a school operating levy ceiling of 3.43 in 2006, the school's levy has continued at or near that level, qualifying it for the Small Schools Grant each year.
However, in 2017, the county's total assessed valuation increased from about $109 million in 2016 to about $115 million due to requirements from the state that applied to the assessor’s office. As a result of that increase in the county’s total assessed valuation, Dora's share of the total valuation also increased – from around $15 million to $17 million. That increase in valuation meant the school's tax rate went down to 3.329 – which meant it would no longer qualify for the Small Schools Grant unless voters approved the proposed increase Tuesday.
A brochure distributed by the school said the .10 levy increase would cost the owner of a $100,000 home on less than 5 acres a total of $19 more on their annual real estate taxes. Owners of agricultural land with a $100,000 market value would pay $12 more, and the real estate tax on commercial property with a $100,000 market value would be $32 more per year.