BOZEMAN - The Bozeman School District is getting ready to ask voters for some new mill levies. They hope that the funding from these levies will go towards funding items from salaries to technology.
“The levy requests all of them are for both Bozeman High and Gallatin High,” says Mike Waterman, Executive Director of Business & Operations.
Three levies are on the ballot this year: a general Fund, a building reserve, and a technology fund levy, which would be used to maintain and upgrade technology in the two high schools.
“That levy has served us well for the last 20 years, but our needs and the importance of technology have increased over time,” says Waterman.
The technology levy, if approved, would last a total of 10 years.
“At that point in time the district would have to reassess its needs and then go back and ask voters for what is appropriate at that point in time,” says Waterman.
The district says as students rely more on online learning, these funds are crucial.
“They would be able to get the most out of these curricular resources moving forward,” says Mike Van Vuren, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum & Technology.
Here is a breakdown from the school district of the levy impact that they use for a market-assessed home of $100,000, That impact would be $10.32.
Now, a home that is $100,000 is more unlikely in Gallatin County, where the Gallatin Association of Realtors says it's $896,000 so let's say your house is valued at $500,000 the annual impact would be around $51.60.
The district is seeing the old High School Building Reserve Levy expire, and the old Technology Levy would be replaced if the one on this year's ballot passes.
For the technology levy, the district would see an increase from roughly $200,000.
“Roughly a $70,000 to $75,000 increase over what we currently have,” says Waterman.
The district says the importance of the general fund is to pay teachers and staff.
“90 percent of the money in the general fund goes toward salaries and benefits of our staff,” says Waterman.
The district is seeing trends of teachers staying away due to the high cost of living
“What we are finding is that those [recruitment] pools are dwindling,” says Waterman.
The building levy would be used towards the physical upkeep of the building.
Both of those facilities are state of the art, they are in good shape and we want to keep them that way,” says Waterman.
They say that the new Gallatin High Building and renovations to Bozeman high have made it so that other Levies can be replaced.
‘The building levy is one place where we feel like we can offer a reduction in our tax impact to folks,” says Waterman
Ballots are set to go out to voters Friday, April 15th, the election takes place Tuesday, May 3rd.