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one91 referendum 2019 vote nov. 5

Levy Questions & Answers

We've compiled a list of common questions about the 2019 Levy Referendum and their answers. This list will be updated as more questions are received. If you have a question that's not listed here, you can submit it to info@isd191.org.

GENERAL ELECTION AND FINANCE QUESTIONS


Q . What is the ballot question?

On Nov. 5, 2019, Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 voters will go to the polls to decide whether to increase school funding. At its Aug. 19 meeting, the School Board unanimously approved holding a referendum to address budget shortfalls, simplify the district’s finances, and protect district’s program improvements. 

Voters will decide on one question which, if approved, would revoke two current voter-approved levies and replace them with one levy of $1,900 per pupil or the maximum allowed by state law (levy cap), whichever is less.

Doing this would ensure the district receives increased funding as the state increases the levy cap.  

Because the proposed levy would replace the district’s existing levies, approval would mean fewer elections would be needed in the future.

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Q. When is the election and where do I vote?

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5, 2019. Your polling location is based on your residence and may be different from previous elections. 

Voters are also able to vote early or by absentee ballot starting September 20. Early voting can be done by mail or in person at the District 191 offices, 200 W. Burnsville Pkwy in Burnsville, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Nov. 4. Details are available at www.isd191.org/referendum

Visit www.mnvotes.org to learn more about registering to vote and to find your polling location. 

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Q. What is the tax impact to a homeowner?

On an average home valued at $250,000, the estimated tax impact is less than $7 per month. Learn more about tax impact here.

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Q. Are there any programs to help lower my property tax burden?

There are certain Minnesota Tax Credits and Deferrals that may affect certain property owners’ situations. For instance, if a homeowners adjusted gross income is less than about $113,000, they may qualify for the Homestead Credit Refund.

To determine eligibility and refund amounts, complete Minnesota tax form M1PR.

Also, senior citizens whose income is $60,000 or less may be able to defer a portion of their property taxes. The program limits the total amount of property taxes they pay based on their income and helps provide predictability for people who may be on a fixed income. 

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Q. What else is the district doing to manage finances?

The levy is one part of the district's integrated action plan to address needs and deliver on its mission. Components to the Integrated Action Plan include:

  • Levy referendum
  • Realigning district facilties to reflect our current needs 
  • Managing finances through priority-based budgeting, seeking alternative funding/grants and legislative action
  • Continuining to improve programming to ensure we deliver on our missoin for all students

Learn more at www.isd191.org/action.

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Q. Why is the district asking for more money when a levy just passed in 2017?

The proposed referendum would eliminate the 2011 and 2017 levies and replace them with a single levy, representing a net general fund increase of $1.7 million. 

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Q. What happens if the question passes?

If approved, this would provide about $1.7 million in new funding for District 191 schools. This funding can be used only for day-to-day operating expenses, including retaining quality staff, maintaining student supports, transportation costs, utilities, classroom supplies and other operating expenses.

The additional funding would help:

  • Minimize (but not eliminate) budget cuts moving forward
  • Protect wrap-around student support services, including counselors, mental health services & cultural liaisons to support achievement
  • Support of the changes we began in 2016-17 to raise achievement for all ISD191 students (continue Vision One91)
  • District will still need to reduce spending to “right size” and respond to lagging state aid & special education cross subsidy
 
Q. What happens if the question fails?

If not approved:

  • District 191 will face an expected $5.5 million budget shortfall
  • Cuts would severely limit the district’s ability to provide student support services
  • Staff and programming would be reduced throughout the district
  • Specific budget adjustments would be determined by the Board of Education through the regular budget process.