Fort Dodge Community School District

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PPEL Frequently Asked Questions

November 29, 2012

What is PPEL?

PPEL stands for the Physical Plant & Equipment Levy. It’s a special revenue fund providing a maximum of $1.67 per $1,000 of assessed valuation that can only be used for “bricks and mortar” needs of the school district.


What can PPEL funds be used for?

The funds provided through PPEL may be used for the following:

·         Purchase or improvement of property

·         Construction of schools, buildings and roads

·         Purchase or lease purchase of equipment and technology exceeding $500 per unit such as copies, computers and musical instruments

·         Payment of debt for schools and buildings

·         Procuring or acquiring library facilities

·         Repair, remodeling or reconstructing of existing facilities

·         Expenditures for energy conservation

·         Transportation equipment for students (buses)

·         Purchase or lease purchase of buildings

·         Equipment for recreational purposes

·         Asbestos inspection and elimination costs


What can’t PPEL funds be used for?

·         Employee salaries, benefits or travel expenses

·         Materials and supplies

·         Printing costs or media services

·         Heating and cooling costs or bus fuel

·         Any other purpose not expressly authorized


Why can’t General Fund dollars be used for these needs?

General Fund dollars are currently dedicated to instructional needs and supporting classrooms with things like teachers, textbooks, heat and lighting, library materials and support staff. Without the PPEL funds, scarce General Fund dollars would have to be taken away from instructional needs in order to help cover “bricks and mortar” expenses.


How is PPEL funded?

The school board may approve 33 cents annually in property tax and/or hold an election for up to $1.34 for a period of 10 years and funded by property tax or a combination of property tax and income tax. 


What revenue is currently generated through PPEL?

Currently PPEL provides 33 cent board approved and 67 cent voter approved revenue for $1 total. The fiscal year 2013 PPEL property assessment for the District is $898,862,785 providing $898,863 in revenue annually.


How is the current revenue from PPEL spent?

Currently, $350,000 is budgeted annually for buses and support vehicles, $250,000 is budgeted for general building repairs and $100,000 is budgeted for technology. This accounts for $700,000 of the $898,863 the District receives annually which does not leave much for unanticipated expenses. The District’s Five Year Infrastructure Plan shows over $77 million in needs including renovation at Duncombe Elementary, Senior High and Riverside Early Learning Center.


How much revenue would be created with the increase in PPEL?

The ballot asks for a renewal of the 67 cents currently being paid and for an increase of 67 cents for a total of $1.34. The increase would generate an additional $602,238 in revenue for a total of $1,501,100 annually. 


What would the increase mean for my taxes?

Someone with a residential property assessed at a valuation of $100,000 would pay an additional $34 per year in property taxes. Commercial property owners with property assessed at a valuation of $100,000 would pay an additional $67 per year in property taxes. Someone with agricultural property valued at $100,000 would see an increase of $38.55 annually in their property taxes.


How will this levy rate compare with what I’ve paid in the past?

Residents’ K-12 share of their total tax liability was reduced by approximately $2 this year.   With the proposed increase of 67 cents, residents’ K-12 share of their total tax bill would still be lower than any of the past four years.


Why is it important to pass PPEL now?

The District needs a way to protect and retain the General Fund dollars necessary for staff compensation. The current infrastructure needs of the District exceed our ability to keep up with them. The total tax rate decreased dramatically last year and now has the capability to absorb an increase for the PPEL renewal.


When is the vote?

The vote on PPEL will be held on Tuesday, December 4th. 

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