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Record Editorial: Fifth time's a charm -- vote yes on LP-A building bond

Lake Park-Audubon School District residents rejoice! This is the last time you'll have to vote on school improvements.

That is, of course, if you follow our advice and vote yes on the district's stylishly affordable $19.5 million building bond referendum.

For mere pennies a day - 44 of them, if you own a $100,000 house -- you can get yourself a lovely new high school for grades 7-12 in Lake Park, and a renovated and expanded elementary school in Audubon.

The days of community strife and wondering what to do about the aging high school will be over.

If you hate children and brandish your cane at them whenever they appear, vote for the bond referendum anyway -- out of pure, cold self-interest. Having a functioning school in your community will give your home value a bump of 15-20 percent when it's time to sell and move into that retirement villa.

Think of it as an economic development investment in your community. The future is brighter for everyone in a thriving, growing community than in a declining one.

True, the economy is having fits these days, with the stock market going up 900 points one day, then tanking like gas prices the next five days, only to repeat the process the following week.

But that's not all bad. Stocks will return to their historic value. Meanwhile, contractors are hungry -- they crave work, and construction bids are coming in lower than they have for a long time. With any luck, the district can get a quality school built at a bargain price.

If you're very poor and don't have a penny to spare, let alone 44 pennies a day for 20 years, vote for it anyway.

The state will give you your money back in three ways:

The Minnesota Property Tax Refund or "Circuit Breaker" is available to all owners of homestead property -- both residential and agricultural -- and even to renters.

This refund is based on your total property taxes and income. The maximum refund is $1,750 for homeowners and $1,430 for renters. You can get this every year.

The Targeted Homeowners Property Tax Refund is available to all homestead properties with a property tax increase of at least 12 percent and $100 over the prior year.

With a maximum refund of $1,000 per taxpayer, this is especially helpful in the first year of a new bond issue or referendum levy, and many property owners will qualify.

The Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program allows homeowners 65 years or older with a household income of $60,000 or less to defer a portion of the property taxes on their homes.

We're out of time, but you all know you've got a great bunch of kids and teachers over there in LP-A.

Have a heart. Give them great schools to learn in.