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Voters Extend PPEL - from The Messenger

September 9, 2020

A tax that pays for school buses, computers and building repairs was extended by voters in the Fort Dodge Community School District by a convincing margin Tuesday.

The voters extended the physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) for 10 years by a margin of 71.35 percent to 28.65 percent, according to unofficial election returns released Tuesday night by Webster County Auditor Doreen Pliner.

Results showed 752 people voting yes and 302 voting no.

Also on Tuesday, the voters approved a revenue purpose statement outlining how the district will spend its share of the revenue from the statewide 1-cent sales tax for schools. Unofficial election results released Tuesday showed 80.22 percent of the voters approving of the revenue purpose statement and 19.78 percent opposing it.

On that measure, 868 people voted yes and 214 voted no.

A simple majority was needed to extend the PPEL and approve the revenue purpose statement.

Stuart Cochrane, president of the local Board of Education, said having both items approved was critical.

"Having those two items in place is just critical to our infrastructure," he said. "Without that, I don't know what we would do."

He said he was pleased that both items were approved by the voters by big margins. That, he said, shows that the public supports what the district is doing.


The PPEL extended by the voters Tuesday is a property tax of $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable value. It has been in place since 2013.

It is added on to the 33 cents per $1,000 of taxable value the school board levies on its own authority with a vote by the public. Thus, the total PPEL is $1.67 per $1,000 of taxable value.

It generates about $1.5 million a year.

Revenue purpose statement

The state's 1-cent sales tax for schools is called Secure an Advanced Vision for Education, or SAVE.

The Fort Dodge Community School District receives about $3.7 million a year from that tax. That money is used to pay off bond debt incurred for big projects, such as the construction of the Fort Dodge Middle School.

The revenue purpose statement approved Tuesday includes the payment of bond debt as one of the uses of the money. Other listed uses include acquiring technology, building schools, remodeling and implementing energy conservation measures.

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