Cotopaxi School District Community Meeting “Maintaining Our Local Schools” The Cotopaxi School District Board of Education needs your help in deciding if there should be a ballot question concerning a Mill Levy Override. What is a Mill Levy Override? Composition of District Mill Levy • A mill represents 0.001 of one dollar. The mill levy is the “tax rate” that is applied to the assessed value of a property. • In Colorado a School District’s mill levy can be comprised of many different parts: – General Fund Mill Levy: Set by the Colorado Department of Education based on State Funding Act. – Override Mill Levy: Locally voter approved increase in the mill levy for the general fund or specific operating purpose. – Bond Mill Levy: Locally voter approved increase in debt for capital projects. District residents approved the bond in 1995. – Abatement Mill Levy: Determined by the County based on refunds related to individual taxpayer protests. What is a Mill Levy Override? • The District is not looking for a tax increase! It is a continuation of the taxes you are already paying. • The District currently levies 2.00 mills for the repayment of the 1995 bonds which is set to expire in 2016 with the retirement of the bond. • The District is considering a mill levy override to take the place of the current bond mill levy. • The total tax rate that residents pay to the District will not increase. • If taxpayers do not approve a mill levy override the tax rate would decrease by the 2.0 mills. This would be approximately $15.92 for a $100,000 home. The Current Need • The District has continued to receive less and less funding from the State of Colorado. Since 2007 the District’s annual funding has been reduced by $1.4 million. • More than 50% of our buildings were built prior to 1950 and are in need of repair. We have continued to defer maintenance over the years as our funding has been cut. • In addition to maintenance needs we have instructional and technology upgrades to ensure our students are prepared for a 21st century economy. • Proceeds of the mill levy would be used to fund the District’s highest priority safety and security needs, energy efficiency improvements, plumbing and structural updates, student transportation necessities, educational materials, and technology upgrades. District General Fund Revenues • FY 2006/2007 General Fund Revenues of $3.8 million • FY 2013/2014 Revenues of $2.37 million • Total revenues down just over $1.4 million Looks Great from the Outside How would the Funds be used? • A majority of the funds will be used for critical maintenance projects. The proposed renovations and campus improvements will have special focus on student safety, energy efficiency, plumbing, transportation and educational necessities including: – Health, Safety, Security & Handicap Accessibility – Repair Damaged Concrete Walkways & Drainage – Improve Overall Energy Efficiency – Upgrade Campus-Wide Fire-Safety Systems – Upgrade Water Delivery & Plumbing Systems – Update 20-Year-Old Transportation Fleet – Acquire & Install Bus Barn Exhaust System – Update Phone & Intercom Systems Structural and Concrete Issues Eroding cement in front of the office/front entrance Cracking Sidewalk Structural and Concrete Issues Eroding cement due to improper drainage Concrete cracking around pillar at high school Flooring Issues with the Tile Hallway tiles that are cracking Classroom with cracks and bubbles from moisture under the tiles Flooring Issues with the Tile Cracked and missing pieces of tile just inside the front door of the office/school Bubbles in the flooring Locker-room Floor Issues Missing tile just outside of the locker room but in the locker room hallway Locker room floor has been patched multiple times Roof and Ceiling Issues Areas the roof has been patched Roof area has been patched at least 4 times Roof and Ceiling Issues Library ceiling where the roof leaked Gutter Drainage Issues How would the Funds be used? • While a majority of our efforts will go toward addressing these longdeferred maintenance and much-needed repairs at Cotopaxi School District, we are also focusing our attention on updating our educational technology systems as well: – – – – – Update Computers & Servers Install Wireless Capabilities Adapt System(s) to Meet State Testing Requirements Update 15-Year-Old Textbooks & Teaching Materials Hire an Additional Junior High/High School Teacher How is this different than the ballot question in November 2013? • In 2013 the District requested $250,000 for a mill levy override. • The proposed mill levy would only go into affect after the bonds are retired in 2016. Effectively not raising taxes for District residents. • The amount being requested is about $106,000 per year. Significantly less than what was requested in 2013. Thank You • The Board of Education, on behalf of students, staff, and administration, would like to thank you for your consideration. Cotopaxi has had a long history of supporting our schools and helped to make us one of the highest rated Districts in the State of Colorado. Questions?