Local Referendums on the Ballot for Tuesday, Nov. 7
It may not be a major election year for political offices, but there are some important votes for local communities tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 7, on Election Day.
Beltrami County Jail Project Referendum
Beltrami County residents will vote on a referendum for how to fund a new jail for the county that will cost an estimated $80 million. A “YES” vote would allow the county to fund the majority of the costs through a local option sales tax that would remain in effect for 30 years or until bonds are retired, whichever comes first. A “NO” vote would mean the majority of the costs would be financed through increased property taxes for 30 years or until the bonds are retired, whichever comes first.
A study that the county did with the the University of Minnesota’s extension office estimated that 50% of funding through a sales tax would come from non-county residents, decreasing the overall cost of the project for local residents. County officials say a “NO” vote is not a vote against the project, and that the jail will still be built using the local taxpayer option if the “YES” option fails.
Grand Rapids School District Operating Levy
Also on the ballot in the Lakeland viewing area, residents in the Grand Rapids School District will vote on an operating levy and capital projects levy. If approved, school district officials say the funds would go to improving educational opportunities for students and to stabilize the district’s finances.
There are three questions on the ballot, with Questions Two and Three being contingent on the passage of the question before it. Question One would ask for a $1,100 per pupil operating levy that would provide the district with an additional $4.6 million each year. Question Two is for a $2.5 million annual capital projects levy for technology, and Question Three is for a $300 per pupil operating levy that would provide the district with an additional $1.2 million each year.
If voters approve the three ballot questions, the owner of a home valued at $200,000 in the district would see an estimated property tax increase of $30.75 per month starting in 2024. Property taxes for the owner of a home valued at $300,000 would increase by an estimated $46.75 per month. The levies would be in place for a seven-year period.
Crosby-Ironton School District Operating Levy
A couple of other area school districts also have referendums on the ballot. Crosby-Ironton’s would allow the district to levy $975 more per pupil, which district officials say would help with a $718,000 budget deficit. The district says it has made $1.5 million worth of cuts in recent years.
If approved, taxpayers with a home valued at $200,000 would pay $10 more per month. A person with a home valued at $300,000 would pay $14 more per month.
Pequot Lakes Public Schools Capital Projects Levy
And in Pequot Lakes, there are two school-related questions for voters. One is for a 10-year $500,000 capital projects levy for technology, buses, and other district vehicles. The other question is a $76.5 million bond referendum to improve school buildings and facilities. Question Two can only pass if Question One passes.
If both questions pass, a person owning a home valued at $150,000 would pay $8 more per month. A person with a $250,000 home would pay $15 more per month.