COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Michael Stavish has three children in Coeur d'Alene schools and says there's a reason he didn't support the district's safety and maintenance levy last August.
"I voted no on the last one because I don't think they were very clear on what the money was for," Stavish said. "It just sounded like 'Hey, tons of money every year because, reasons."
Stavish says this time around, the need seems a little more clear. The district maintains 41 buildings, a third of them more than 30 years old. Officials say some projects have reached a critical point.
"Definitely see a lot of value in buildings being maintained," Stavish said. "The longer you let it go, the more expensive it gets."
The safety and maintenance would raise taxes an estimated $19 per every $100,000 of taxable assessed value annually. The total levy amount is $5 million per year, expiring after 5 years.
"I think getting North Idahoan's to vote yes on a tax increase is very hard no matter what it's for," Stavish said.
The district is also asking voters to pass a $25 million annual supplemental levy, which would replace an expiring levy which makes up a quarter of the district's annual budget.
"If our supplemental levy does not pass, the list of things we would need to cut, it's 25% of our budget," said Rebecca Smith, a Coeur d'Alene School Board member. "That's one in every four employees. That means things that we have believed in for a long time in this community, things like sports things like arts, things like some of our safety officers, nurses."
The current levy, which expires this June, costs property owners about $76 for every $100,000 of assessed value. The one on the table would increase to about $95 per $100,000.
"Our community really wants to know what are these two levies being used for, what do they do," Smith said. "There's some new questions, some new people in our community."
The supplemental levy needs over 50% approval to pass while the safety and maintenance levy needs 55%. Voters will decide March 14.
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