What is a Revenue Purpose Statement?

On April 5th of this year, Maquoketa Valley Schools will bring to our patrons mandated ballot issue regarding the allowed uses of the 1-cent sales tax in the State of Iowa that is dedicated to all of our Iowa schools. Provided below is information regarding Maquoketa Valley’s Revenue Purpose Statement and the process prescribed by state laws for our district to continue to use these funds through 2029. If you have any other questions after reviewing this information, please do not hesitate to contact Doug Tuetken or Erika Imler at 563-922-2091.

What is a Revenue Purpose Statement?
It is a ballot issue that describes the allowed uses for the 1-cent sales tax in the State of Iowa that is dedicated to all Iowa school districts. This $.01 sales tax is known as SAVE (Secured an Advanced Vision for Education). Maquoketa Valley’s current Revenue Purpose Statement was originally passed in May of 2003. Our district did this to outline the allowed uses for our SAVE fund, as required by law.

What do we currently do with the $.01 sales tax revenue?
Over the past 10-years we have used this fund to pay down the debt levy on Delhi Elementary, Delhi Middle School and Earlville Elementary. We have used this revenue to pay for computers for our students and technology infrastructure for our buildings. The revenue has been used to purchase buses, update building security, classroom and entrance doors. It has also been used to purchase and install energy efficient lighting, update entryways and sidewalks into our buildings, make roof and brick repairs and replace the boiler at our high school.

Why is this important now?
Our district’s current Revenue Purpose Statement sunsets, or ends after a fixed period of time, in 2022. We would like to extend our current Revenue Purpose Statement until 2029, which is allowed by Iowa law. With the extension, we can work with our local banks to structure revenue bonds against our current SAVE revenue. This will allow us to make much-needed repairs to all of the facilities in our district. Our high school was constructed in 1965. Although the “bones” of this facility are strong, after 51 years, it is in need of some significant repairs, updating and remodeling to bring it into the 21st century. Earlville Elementary, Johnston Elementary, Delhi Elementary and Delhi Middle School also need some upgrading and repair work.

Will this raise my taxes?
The answer to this is a definite NO. This will absolutely not raise your taxes. This is the primary reason we would like to extend our current Revenue Purpose Statement. By extending our Revenue Purpose Statement until 2029, we can generate the necessary funds to complete the remodeling without asking our patrons to pass a bond referendum and without raising our taxes. Without your support to extend our Revenue Purpose Statement, it will be extremely difficult to update our facilities to meet the 21st century needs of our children.

This is NOT a vote on the SAVE funding. This is NOT a vote to increase the SAVE $.01 sales tax. The sales tax rate is set by the legislature. This is only a vote to extend our current Revenue Purpose Statement language to 2029 The sole purpose of the Revenue purpose Statement is to describe and outline the uses for which the $.01 sales tax may be used at Maquoketa Valley.

When will the Revenue Purpose Statement vote be held?
The vote is scheduled for April 5, 2016. I would encourage you to get out and vote on April 5th, or contact the Delaware County Auditors office at 563-927-4701 to vote by absentee ballot. It is an important decision for our district, our facilities and our kids. Listed below are additional frequently asked questions that will provide additional information regarding our Revenue Purpose Statement and the April 5th vote. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Doug Tuetken or Erika Imler at 563-922-9422.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Why does it require a vote?
Bringing the Revenue Purpose Statement to voters for approval was a requirement imposed by the Iowa Legislature in 2008. The requirements for a Revenue Purpose Statement election are specifically stated in Iowa Code 423E. This section of the law requires the Board of Directors to adopt a Revenue Purpose Statement, subject to the approval of the electors, listing the proposed use of these funds.

Do we currently have a Revenue Purpose Statement in place and in general terms, what uses will be allowed under the Revenue Purpose Statement?
The Maquoketa Valley Community School District currently has a Revenue Purpose Statement. The language outlined below identifies what is allowed under our current statement: Money received from the local sales and services tax for school infrastructure may be spent for any one or more of the following purposes: To provide funds to build and furnish a new school building or buildings; to build and furnish addition(s) to school buildings in the District; to remodel, repair, expand, and improve the school buildings in the District; to purchase and improve grounds; for demolition work; to furnish and equip district facilities. Monies may also be shared with other public bodies within the district, including cities, and unincorporated areas whose boundaries in whole or in part encompass the area of the district, pursuant to a revenue sharing agreement in accordance with Section 423E.5, Code of Iowa, as amended. Monies may be used for emergency repairs to respond to natural disasters, such as fire, wind damage, flood; unanticipated mechanical, plumbing, structural, roof, electrical system failures; environmental remediation; or to respond to changes in demographics that require construction of additions or improvements to school buildings or new school buildings. Monies may also be used for the purchase, lease or lease-purchase of buildings or equipment (including transportation and recreation equipment) as authorized by law, to implement energy conservation measures, sharing or rental of facilities, procuring or acquisition of libraries, or opening roads to schoolhouses or buildings. Monies also may be used to establish and maintain public recreation places and playgrounds; provide for supervision and instruction for recreational activities; or for community education purposes; and any other authorized expenditures and purposes as permitted by law or hereafter authorized by law and designated by the Maquoketa Valley Community School District.
Monies may be used for payment of principal and interest or retirement of general obligation bonds issued for school infrastructure purposes, loan agreements authorized by Iowa Code section 297.36, sales tax revenue bonds issued under Iowa Code section 423E.5, and property tax relief.

Will passage of the Revenue Purpose Statement require a “super majority”?
No! Only a simple majority is (50% +1) is needed for passage.

What happens if the Revenue Purpose Statement is not approved?
Iowa law requires a minimum of six months to elapse before another Revenue Purpose Election can be held. If the original version is not approved, either the same or a revised Statement can be brought back to our voters.

Will voting by absentee ballot be possible?
Yes. Please contact the Delaware County Auditors office at 563-927-4701.

Additional Questions?
Please do not hesitate to contact Doug Tuetken or Erika Imler at 563-922-9422.