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Lake Park-Audubon: Don't believe 'No' propaganda

We would like to address some points brought up in a recent mailing you may have received from a vote "No" group operating in our school district. The presentation format and statements made in the mailing cause the reader to misinterpret Lake Park-Audubon's situation.

Aid Anticipation is money the school district borrows to offset money withheld by the state. It is not additional money for our budget. The state currently withholds 27 percent of our funding. This withheld money is then paid during our next fiscal year. If your employer held 27 percent of your pay each month to pay back a year later, most individuals would need to borrow against that money to pay bills. The school district is no different. Has Aid Anticipation borrowing gone up in recent years? Yes, as the state has increased how much it withholds from the district, the district has adjusted the amount it borrows to offset the amount withheld.

The district currently has a budget of about $5.8 million. Approximately $345,000 comes from you, the local taxpayer, as operating levy revenue and about $420,000 is anticipated through other levies. We are asking you to increase the operating levy portion approximately $170,000 dollars, to a total of $515,000 dollars. This means the local taxpayers of our district would provide about 16 percent, or $935,000 of our school's total budget.

In past years, one of the statements made against new facilities was "Books not Bricks." This operating levy is for just that. This revenue will help keep programs in place. The school district has kept rising expenses at 1.5 percent annually over the last 9 years. Annual inflation has been nearly twice that amount, at 2.9 percent. This past year we made $270,000 in cuts to help reduce our budget.

If this levy is approved, the school portion of your taxes will still be among the lowest in the state. In fact, if all area schools pass their operating levies, including LPA, we may rank as the lowest taxed school district in the area. For example, the voter approved school portion of your taxes will increase $39 per year on a $100,000 home to $118.

We urge the taxpayers of this district to get out and vote in support of our kids and their school. If you have questions please feel free to contact the district office or go to the school's website. Please vote "Yes" on Nov. 3.