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Deferred maintenance decisions in Iowa

September 01, 2009
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URBANDALE, IA — Urbandale Community School District officials are appealing to voters to approve a new tax levy to address maintenance needs by implementing a relatively low school tax rate, according to the Des Moines Register.
Voters will be asked to approve a physical plant and equipment tax levy (PPEL) not to exceed $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable property value within the district on September 8, the story stated.
According to the story, Urbandale, which spent more than $52 million on a four-year project to rebuild the Urbandale High School on 36 acres of land, is the only area school district without a voter-approved PPEL.
The money collected would be used to address $19.5 million in maintenance needs, as identified in a 10-year facilities assessment report prepared by DLR Group, that have been deferred over several years because of lack of money and the need for newer buildings, the story noted.
Urbandale High School parent Nick Hanson said: "I want quality schools, but I still need to determine what impact this new tax levy will have on the family budget. I am leaning toward approving it. The district has been responsible with their property taxes."
Though the district will collect money from a penny-per-dollar statewide sales tax over 20 years starting July 1, 2010, Board of Directors members have already planned to borrow against that money to pay for roughly $22 million in additions and renovations at the Urbandale Middle School and Webster Elementary School, the story added.
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