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School Board Hears Citizen’s Concerns

By Staff | Aug 25, 2015

The Emmetsburg Community School Board of Directors heard a concern over the district’s increased tax rate during its August meeting on Aug. 19. Cylinder area farmer Dean Gunderson, a former member of the board, spoke during the Open Forum of the board meeting.

“I just wanted to be clear on why the taxes for the Emmetsburg School District went up by 17.7 percent on my tax statement,” Gunderson said. “I have to wonder if the use of tax dollars is just for building projects, as opposed to education.”

Gunderson continued, “The public’s purpose in voting in the local option sales tax hasn’t been followed. It was proposed as a way to provide property tax relief. But instead, it’s being used for a want list, not a need list.”

“There is a lot of talk out in the community about this. The education of students should come before a want list,” Gunderson said.

Superintendent Gary Richardson responded by explaining how the low allowable growth rate from the state, played into the budget, along with the low-cost sales tax bonds and the reasoning behind using the capital project funding to improve facilities.

“That’s why we aren’t lowering tax rates at this time,” Richardson replied.