Skip to main content

News

Q&A: North Tama Revenue Purpose Statement Ballot Issue
Posted 10/7/19

 

On the November 5 city/school election ballot, North Tama Schools will bring to our patrons a ballot issue regarding the allowed uses of Iowa’s 1-cent sales tax. Provided below is information regarding North Tama’s Revenue Purpose Statement and the process prescribed by state laws for our district to continue to use these funds beyond 2031. If you have any other questions after reviewing this information, please do not hesitate to contact Superintendent David Hill by phone at (319) 478-2265 or by email at dhill@n-tama.k12.ia.us 

WHAT IS A REVENUE PURPOSE STATEMENT?

It is a ballot issue that describes the allowed uses for the 1-cent sales tax in the State of Iowa that is dedicated to all Iowa school districts. This one-cent sales tax is known as SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education). North Tama’s current Revenue Purpose Statement – originally passed in September 2008 – received overwhelming support from district patrons.  Now that the Iowa Legislature has extended the sales tax to last until 2051, a new Revenue Purpose Statement is needed.  

WHAT IS BETTER FOR NORTH TAMA SCHOOLS?  A “YES” VOTE OR A “NO” VOTE? 

While we wouldn’t presume to tell you how to vote, I would offer that these RPS measures have been relatively non-controversial all over the state. Many have called them a “no-brainer,” as consumers statewide are already paying the one-cent sales tax and will continue to pay it either way, and school districts statewide will receive the revenues either way -- the RPS just gives districts a little more flexibility with the dollars they are already receiving. A prevailing “YES” vote won’t cost you anything, and it will allow North Tama to continue to maintain and upgrade facilities, technology infrastructure, student technology, and transportation equipment.

WILL THIS RAISE MY TAXES?

The outcome of this vote will absolutely NOT raise your taxes - regardless of whether the YES or NO vote prevails. The one-cent sales tax is already being collected statewide and the legislature has now extended the one-cent sales tax until 2051.  The sole purpose of the Revenue purpose Statement is to describe and outline the uses for which the one-cent sales tax may be used at North Tama.

WHAT DO WE CURRENTLY DO WITH THE ONE-CENT SALES TAX REVENUE?

Over the past 10 years North Tama has used SAVE revenues for just about every type of infrastructure expenditure allowed by law.  Here are some examples:

Major Addition & Remodeling Project including Locker Rooms, Gym Lobby, Jr. High Classrooms and Commons, Remodeling of Jr. High Classrooms, and Superintendent’s Office

Athletic Facility Improvements (Dennis Field, Gymnasium, and NT Athletic Complex)

Student Computers and 1-to-1 Devices as well as Teacher Computers

Back-End Technology Infrastructure

Fine Arts Improvements (including stage lighting, painting and carpeting band and vocal classrooms and the upcoming installation of a new acoustic shell and stage curtain)

Air-Conditioning Classrooms

HVAC Improvements (including boilers)

Flooring Improvements (including gym and stage resurfacing, classroom flooring replacements, and installation of stair treads for increased safety)

Playground Improvements

Handicapped Accessibility Improvements (Elevator Repairs, Addition of ADA-Compliant Ramps)

Sidewalk and Concrete Repairs

Purchase of School Buses and Vehicles

Retrofitting Route Buses with Seat Belts

Air Conditioning School Buses

Transportation Repairs (repairs over $2500 may be paid from SAVE)

Improving Building Security (including secured access doors & security cameras)

Installation of Energy-Efficient Lighting

Roofs, Downspout, and Gutter Repair

Added 4 Drinking Fountains with Water-Bottle Fillers

Purchasing an Adjacent Lot and Demolishing a House for Additional Parking

 

IF THIS BALLOT MEASURE IS APPROVED BY VOTERS, HOW WILL THE DISTRICT’S USE OF THE ONE-CENT SALES TAX REVENUES CHANGE?

For the most part, we would expect the district’s spending of the one-cent sales tax revenues to look very similar to the types of uses listed in the previous question: to maintain and improve district facilities, equipment, and infrastructure.  Our current Revenue Purpose Statement (which expires at the end of the current SAVE legislation) was written with the same goal in mind as the newly proposed statement: to allow maximum flexibility for the school district.  

One possible change may be the consideration of some larger projects that would require bonding against future revenues.  The approval of a new Revenue Purpose Statement now would allow the district to bond against future revenues from the one-cent sales tax through 2051 if necessary for more expensive projects. 

 

WHY IS THIS NEEDED NOW?  

This isn’t absolutely needed now, but it is needed sometime before the current SAVE law expires and the new, extended SAVE law begins on January 1, 2031. You’ll see ballot measures just like this one all over the state of Iowa between now and that date.  

A new RPS is needed before a district can structure revenue bonds against SAVE revenues that will be generated on or after January 1, 2031.  So, the approval of a new Revenue Purpose Statement may be needed before any very large, expensive infrastructure projects can take place in the district.

WHAT WILL NORTH TAMA DO IF THE REVENUE PURPOSE STATEMENT IS NOT APPROVED?

As stated above, the district needs to pass a Revenue Purpose Statement sometime before the current SAVE law expires and the new, extended SAVE law begins on January 1, 2031.  While a failure to pass the RPS wouldn’t cause a major problem right now, it would be crippling for North Tama if the RPS doesn’t pass sometime prior to 2031.  At the present time, it would only hold us back from MAJOR projects that would require borrowing.  Iowa law requires a minimum of six months to elapse before another Revenue Purpose Election can be held. If the Revenue Purpose Statement considered by voters in November is not approved, either the same or a revised RPS can be brought back to our voters. If the Board of Education wants to avoid the cost of holding a special election, they may opt to wait two years until the next regular school election.  

WILL PASSAGE OF THE REVENUE PURPOSE STATEMENT REQUIRE A “SUPER-MAJORITY”?

No.  A simple majority (50% +1) is needed for passage.

WHAT IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?  

If you have any other questions after reviewing this information, please do not hesitate to contact Superintendent David Hill by phone at (319) 478-2265 or by email at dhill@n-tama.k12.ia.us