Viewpoint: Supt. Nelson says ‘Told you so’I do not get to say “told you so” very often, so I am going to take this opportunity.
By: Tom Nelson, Superintendent, District 833, Woodbury Bulletin
I do not get to say “told you so” very often, so I am going to take this opportunity.
Last fall, our school district went to the voters to renew an existing levy referendum. I spent a great deal of time and energy telling anyone who would listen that this renewal would not increase the school portion of your property tax bill.
I am like everyone else who pays property taxes: I am always a little leery when someone tells me that if I vote yes, my taxes will not go up.
This past week I received in the mail my property tax statement for taxes payable in 2008 and yes, the school portion of my property tax bill actually went down a few dollars ($50.11).
The referendum renewal information that was provided to our community stated that a home with my assessed valuation, the taxes would actually go down $12. It turned out to be much better. I am not going to get rich on fifty dollars, but every little bit helps.
More important for me was that our promise to not increase local school property taxes held true.
Some may say that my taxes dropped because my valuation went down. This is not the case as it stayed exactly the same as it was the year before. I would not say this is the case throughout the district.
If by chance your valuation went up, then your property tax bill may have gone up, but not because of our referendum renewal.
I know nobody wants to hear about tax bills around the 15th of April, but I had to tell someone.
Our school board has worked extremely hard to provide an outstanding educational program and at the same time control local school taxes.
It is not an easy task when we rely so heavily on state taxes. When the state has financial troubles, too many times the burden of funding local schools puts greater pressure on the property tax.
It feels good to say I told you so. That said, it is my hope that over time there will be less of a reliance on the property tax as a way to fund local schools.
Holding referendums has become a necessary evil and takes up way too much time and energy when our focus should be on the classroom.
Nelson is District 833 superintendent.