School spending vote comes with a twist
But unlike a lot, maybe most school bond issues, according to officials here, it comes without a tax increase.
Voters in one Omaha suburb are voting Tuesday, on a major school spending plan that comes with a twist.
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I’m Joe Jordan reporting from the outskirts of Omaha, specifically the Elkhorn school district, where voters are being asked to vote up or down on a $123 million school bond issue.
But unlike a lot, maybe most school bond issues, according to officials here, it comes without, that's right without a tax increase.
And no doubt you're wondering how?
Well, according to officials here, property owners in Elkhorn have in effect already helped pay for the bond issue.
We're told this ‘no new taxes’ bond issue is the result of a number of factors including “projected increased incomes from various sources such as assessed property tax values” (source: Kara Perchal, TeamMates of Elkhorn) which increased from $7.8 billion in 2021 to $8.5 billion in 2022.
During a recent Douglas County tax and budget hearing, one Elkhorn taxpayer, and he said he wasn't alone, unhappily vouched for those higher valuations, far higher than Douglas County’s average increase of 12% this year.
Mike Leuders, Elkhorn: “My personal increase was 40 percent, $132,000 on a property that was valued at $329,000 last year $461,000 this year. I think this is really unreasonable and I'm speaking for everyone in my neighborhood who have had an equal or greater increase.
That as several state and local officials have acknowledged that those higher valuations almost always lead to higher property taxes.
The bond issue here would pay for, among other things, two new elementary schools and some added security measures.
Again, officials are emphasizing and insisting it comes with no tax increase.
Voters get the final say.