Photo by Lorie Palmer
(L-R) MVSD 244 board chair Lot Smith speaks about levy funds to vice-chair Brad Lutz and trustee Mike Dominguez at the Aug. 20 meeting in Kooskia.
As of Tuesday, August 21, 2018
KOOSKIA Mountain View School District 244 patrons will have a nice little surprise come property tax time this year.
The school board voted, at its Aug. 20 meeting in Kooskia, to return $426,802 on the spring levy amount of $3,090,048. This brings the levy down to the previous five years’ levy amounts of $2,663,246 per year.
“The timing of having the forest funds come through was just bad,” chair Lot Smith of Grangeville said. “We’re glad for the money, of course, but we were as surprised as everyone else that it came through.”
Smith said he believes in transparency and there was “no deceit in what we asked for,” he said.
Trustee Mike Dominguez of Kooskia agreed and said lowering the levy amount would “wipe the slate clean.”
Vice-chair Brad Lutz of Grangeville agreed. Trustees Casey Smith (Clearwater) and Rebecca Warden (Grangeville) were absent.
The board also agreed to go forth with what they feel is the intent of Idaho Code 57-1304: to use the forest funds only for maintenance and facility needs.
Reducing the levy amount this year means the district will now transfer more than $1 million (instead of $600,000) from the forest reserve fund to balance this year’s budget.
Smith lamented the fact not all five board trustees were present, but felt they would agree with the decision which, in order to be reflected on upcoming tax statements, had to be decided by Sept. 6.
“We really appreciate the patrons stepping up and passing a $3 million levy when we felt that is what we needed,” Smith emphasized, adding, “I really think this is the right decision.”