On Tuesday, Feb. 4, from noon to 8 p.m. at Miles City Hall, residents of Easton Valley will be deciding on two ballot issues. It was suggested by Jackson County auditor’s office and agreed upon by the Easton Valley Board to have a central polling place (Miles) to cut down on election costs and to reduce uncertainty in voter location. The two ballot issues are:
• Revenue Purpose Statement giving the district the authority to spend the 1 percent sales tax from the state. This is not a new tax. It is a requirement of the merger.
• The proposed voted PPEL levy of 1.34 (per thousand of taxable value) on property in the Easton Valley.
What is PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy) tax?
Under state law, revenue generated by the levy can be used for facility maintenance, improvement, construction, property purchase or rental, technology, energy conservation measures, transportation equipment and playground equipment. Currently, Easton Valley is using its PPEL funds for bus leases, upgraded computer technology (looking ahead to one-on-one initiative), and building repairs. Because PPEL funds pay for infrastructure items, general fund money can be spent solely for the education of the students.
Future plans for PPEL:
Through the merger vote, the people have empowered this board to make decisions that ensure that the district thrives and grows. That means our facilities should meet state requirements and serve the needs of all students. The PPEL vote will give us the resources to achieve this while still maintaining monies in the general fund used solely for the education of our students. Regardless of how you vote, yes or no, your Easton Valley school tax rate will remain much lower than neighboring school districts. As a school district, the education of your students will always be our main concern. If you have any questions please attend the public meeting on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m., at the gym, Miles campus.
Your vote (yes or no) will give us direction in planning ahead. Be assured that the board will look at all aspects of the district tax rate and offset the PPEL funding in other areas if we are able.
Different tax scenarios will be discussed at the meeting. Bring your tax statements if you have questions. We will be more than happy to address your concerns.
Easton Valley School Board member