Voters shoot down PPEL tax levy renewal for Madrid schools – Ames Tribune

Voters on Tuesday shot down a request to renew the Madrid Community School District’s physical plant and equipment levy.
Unofficial election results from Boone, Dallas and Polk counties show 54% voted against the levy. The mostly rural district serves 666 students across the three counties.
The measure required a simple majority to pass.
PPEL funds can be used for can be used for items like purchasing and improving grounds, constructing school houses or buildings, purchasing transportation equipment for transporting students, lease purchase option agreements for equipment or purchasing some equipment defined by law.
Madrid had planned to use it for laptops and classroom display boards, fine arts and activity equipment, school transportation vehicles, kitchen equipment, copiers and phone system equipment.
By Iowa law, levies sunset after 10 years and must be renewed by voters. The current levy is $1 per $1,000 of taxable property valuation. The renewal vote would have increased that to $1.34 per $1,000.
The valuation levels in the district change every year causing the PPEL revenue amount to change. Under the current levy, based on the 2021 taxable valuations, the district received $174,611 in PPEL revenue.
If the $1.34 rate had passed on Tuesday, it would have brought in approximately $233,977, based on the 2021 taxable valuations.
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This is the third PPEL vote in the district and the first one not to pass. District Superintendent Brian Horn said he can’t guess why the levy didn’t pass this time around.
“Determining why the vote did not pass is something we will engage the district stakeholders about over the next few months,” Horn said in an email.
“The stakeholders’ decision is respected by the district and maintaining engagement with stakeholders continues to be the priority,” Horn said.
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In a statement provided to voters, district officials said if the levy does not pass, the items that are funded with the revenue, namely buses and technology, still need to be purchased. Those expenses would shift to other revenue streams, impacting the overall programming of the district, officials said.
The current PPEL will expire June 30, 2024. If the district decides to come forward with a new PPEL vote, Sept. 12 is the next available date for such an election.
Teresa Kay Albertson covers politics, crime, courts and local government in Ames and central Iowa for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register. Reach her on Twitter @TeresaAlberts11 and at talbertson@registermedia.com, 515-419-6098.

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