Addressing Needs at Our Elementary Schools
While Ballard schools have been well-maintained, there are some pressing facility needs in our two elementary schools that need to be addressed.
On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, Ballard residents will vote on the proposed Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) to address these needs. An approved vote would extend the district's RPS as long as allowable by current legislation. It would have no impact on local property taxes, nor would it affect the sales tax.
We invite you to learn more about the Revenue Purpose Statement and review answers to frequently asked questions:
Frequently Asked Questions
Would addressing the elementary facility needs align with the district’s Facilities Master Plan?
Yes. In fact, the projects would represent the first big items addressed through the new Facilities Master Plan. The plan has allowed the district to forecast preventative maintenance and ensure scheduled improvements are proactive and cost effective.
Key goals of the master planning process include:
Ensure building capacity is adequate for current and future enrollment
Address current deficiencies and maintain facilities at a high standard
Ensure the vision of our community aligns with the district regarding current and future facility needs
Maintain fiscal responsibility
What is the plan to address these needs?
District leaders and the School Board are proposing a solution that would allow us to address the facility needs in our elementary schools without increasing property taxes.
Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) — also known as the statewide one-cent sales tax for education — allows Iowa school districts to continue investing sales tax funds in school infrastructure projects, so long as the Revenue Purpose Statement is kept current through voter approval.
The plan is to borrow against SAVE to finance the projects. To do this, the community will need to approve a Revenue Purpose Statement to extend Ballard’s use of SAVE funds past 2029.
An approved statement on September 12 would extend the district's RPS as long as allowable by current legislation. The extension would take immediate effect upon voter approval.
What is a Revenue Purpose Statement?
In 2008, the Iowa governor signed into law a statewide one-cent sales tax (known as SAVE). It took the place of existing local versions that were set to sunset in 2031.
School districts then needed to re-state how they would use these funds through a community election known as a Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS), which the Ballard School District did. A new sunset of 2051 was legislated in 2019, again making it necessary for districts to re-state their RPS to align to this new sunset date.
This is the reason for the special election on Tuesday, September 12.
How would an approved RPS affect property taxes?
Approving the Revenue Purpose Statement would have no impact on local property taxes, nor would it affect the sales tax. It would only specify where and how the School Board may use SAVE funds.
We respect the needs of our property taxpayers and have looked for a solution that would balance the needs of our students with those of our entire community.
Will the district continue to receive sales tax that is collected statewide?
Will this revenue continue to be used to support a wide range of facility projects aimed to improve schools?
Are we voting specifically on a project during the September 12 special election?
No. The election is to update the RPS to align to the most recent legislated version, including the extended 2051 sunset.
When is election day?
The election date is Tuesday, September 12, 2023.
Can I cast an absentee ballot in this election?
Yes! The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 28, 2023. All absentee ballots must be submitted by the time polls close on election day to be counted. For voting information, visit https://www.storycountyiowa.gov/123/Elections.
Do I need an ID to vote in person?
Yes. Voters are required to provide an ID number on an absentee ballot request form. Voters must present an ID when voting early in-person or on election day. Find more information at https://www.storycountyiowa.gov/123/Elections.