Residents of the Bellevue Community School District will be asked to vote in regard to extending the PPEL on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. This vote is NOT to increase the levy nor would it raise taxes. It would keep the voted PPEL levy the same as it is now and not raise the tax rate.
PPEL is the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy and has been approved by local voters for the past 17 years, first gaining voter approval during the 2002-2003 school year. The levy has been approved two times by local voters and the school district is asking voters to extend it again as required by state law. The new approval would continue the rate of $1.34 per $1,000 of valuation during the PPEL’s next 10-year term from 2023 to 2032. The current rate in place through 2022 would not change if the extension and rate change is approved.
PPEL revenue can only be used for specific purposes outlined by Iowa law, including construction, improvements, maintenance of buildings and grounds, and purchase of vehicles and equipment. PPEL revenue cannot be used for salaries, benefits, travel expenses, materials, supplies, media services, heating and cooling costs or bus fuel.
The district in the past few years has used PPEL money in a variety of manners for improvements. Some of these significant expenditures include the following.
● Purchase of school buses
● Technology and Infrastructure Improvements
● Security improvements to buildings, along with security technology
● Hallway lighting improvements
● Parking lot resurfacing
● Classroom furniture
● Music room improvements at the MS/HS
● Industrial Technology Equipment for Programming Improvements
● Bellevue Elementary sidewalk
● Roof repairs and replacements at both school buildings
Future PPEL revenue will be used to fund long-term capital improvements in the district, along with a continuation of its current uses to assist in educating students through the purchase of equipment, repairs, and improving and maintaining the building and grounds throughout the district.
Approval of the PPEL would also continue to authorize the use of an income surtax of 2-4 percent of a family’s income tax bill (not 2-4 percent of their income) in place of the property tax levy for PPEL. Ultimately, the revenue from the surtax would be used to buy down the property tax levy to less than $1.34 per $1,000 of taxable valuation.
If the extension is approved the district would receive approximately $400,000 in total revenue per year over the 10 year period from 2022 to 2032 based on current property valuations.
As noted, there are many ways we use PPEL dollars for our school district. Without these dollars, it would be difficult to operate on a day-to-day basis. Schools are an integral part of all communities, and Bellevue is fortunate to have a supportive community in regard to valuing the education which students receive for their lives beyond high school. Educating our youth is vital for the community and beyond, and having well-maintained schools is a large marketing factor for the entire community.
Reminder: This vote is NOT to increase the levy nor would it raise taxes. It would keep the voted PPEL levy the same, and would not raise the tax rate.
Voters can access more information in regard to its allowable uses and the utilization of PPEL in the past in our district at the school district website at www.bellevue.k12.ia.us. Additionally, people can contact the school district at any time at 563.872.4001 (Ext 4).