The Otsego Board of Education has voted to place a 0.50% income tax Levy on the November 7, 2023, ballot.
The information below is provided to help District stakeholders understand the District’s intended use of the funds generated by this ballot initiative. If you have questions that are not answered here, please send them to [email protected] or [email protected]
General Levy Information
What is an Operational Levy?
The funds raised by an operational levy are used to provide learning opportunities to students and support the day-to-day functions of a district, including providing a safe learning environment, equipment, supplies, utilities, insurance, buses, propane, etc.
How will the levy be funded?
If passed by voters, the levy will be a 0.50% income tax.
When will the levy be on the ballot?
The operational levy will be on the Tuesday, November 7, 2023 ballot.
When did Otsego taxpayers last approve an operational levy?
It has been over 20 years since the District passed a new operational levy. Voters last approved a new operational levy in May 2002.
How long will the operational levy last?
This would be a continuing operational levy.
How much will the operational levy cost me on my property taxes?
This operational levy will not impact your property taxes.
Why did the district choose to propose an income tax instead of a property tax?
Passing an income tax over a property tax to fund a school district can offer several benefits to the community.
- Relief for Property Owners: An income tax can ease the burden on large land owners/property owners who are disproportionately taxed with a property tax.
- Fairness: Income tax is proportional making it fairer than property tax. (Meaning the less you earn the less you pay.)
- Economic Stability: Income tax revenue is more consistent than property tax, which can fluctuate with property values.
- Encouraging Economic Growth: Lower property taxes may attract more residents and businesses, boosting the local economy.
Why does Otsego need more funding for operations?
There are several factors influencing the District’s need for additional operational funds including:
- Increased need for support services and the ever-rising costs for equipment, materials, and utilities. These funding concerns put increased pressure on school district budgets.
- The exhaustion of ESSER (Federal Funds) at the end of the 2022-23 school year. These funds support programs and services that currently support student learning and personal growth.
- Increase costs of improving/maintaining school safety.
- Significant increases in special education student numbers and costs. The District needed to hire additional teachers/aides to address the needs of students and meet state requirements without extra funding from the state or federal government.
- Supporting the District’s plan to:
- Continue to support innovative educational initiatives.
- Supporting literacy and numeracy initiatives to improve reading and math skills among students at all grade levels.
- Invest in special education programs and support services to cater to the diverse learning needs of all students.
- Expanding access to advanced courses, CCP, and honors programs to challenge high-achieving students, expand gifted services, and foster academic excellence.
- Investing in technology and digital resources to enhance interactive and immersive learning experiences.
- Strengthening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to prepare students for future job opportunities in these fields and offering college and career readiness programs to prepare students for higher education and the job market.
- Supporting vocational and career-technical education to equip students with practical skills for various industries and trades.
- Invest in the safety of our students and staff by providing additional safety and security services.
- Implementing school safety measures and training to ensure a secure learning environment.
- Upgrading school infrastructure and facilities to provide a safe, comfortable, and conducive learning environment.
How does Otsego’s Per Pupil Expenditure Compare to other local districts?