July 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
This November will be dÃ©jÃ vu for Moorhead School District voters.
Tags: Education, K12 education, Moorhead, Schools, taxes 34 Comments »
I’m sure many people are like me and that tax raise is going to really hurt a fixed income that didn’t get any raise this year. Has everything been cut that can be cut? Though it hurts I think it would be better to wait until the economy turns around to do this. Also, in just a few years the school board is going to ask for more. Maybe we really didn’t need all these new buildings. I’m against it.
Hot debate. What do you think? 18 15
The new buildings along with consolidation were supposed to make them more efficient in the long run. I’d be curious to know if they are actually doing that.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 4
If you look at your property taxes from ’09 to ’10, they actually went down! This is because people are moving here and spreading out the taxes among more people and more homes. If we cannot pass this levy, not only will people stop relocating to Moorhead, but we will start to lose current residents. This will cause your property taxes to increase & your homes value will go down! This is the perfect time for Moorhead to pass an operating levy, if you look at the difference you paid last year and what you will pay in 2011 if the levy is passed, it isn’t going to be too much more. Our students deserve to keep getting a quality education.
Disclaimer: I am a Moorhead homeowner, I do not have any kids, so I will not directly benefit from this levy. I will be very Proud to vote YES this fall.
Like or Dislike: 13 10
My property taxes did go down. Because the taxable value of my home did. Recent neighborhood sales seem to confirm that my home’s value is less now than it was two years ago.
I will vote yes on this, however Moorhead is in very poor shape right now and the levy isn’t going to help much.
Like or Dislike: 4 7
Perhaps we need the district to start listing programs they will cut now…if the board and administration staff show they’re serious about making the system work and spend money wisely, voters would be more willing to give them the levy. I won’t vote yes unless I can see some responsible management.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 5
Have you been to any school board meetings to see what they have been doing over the past couple years? Perhaps they already meet your standards. Or perhaps not.
Like or Dislike: 8 9
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You Minnesotans living in district 152 have a tough choice on your hands. If you pass the levy, your taxes will go up. If you then elect certain gubernatorial candiates, your taxes will go up. Soon Minnesota, like every other state, is going to have to match federal medicare payments under the new health care plan, Minnesota will have to come up with a massive amount of money to cover this and it is likely that taxes go up yet again. I hope the levy passes as Minnesota is known for its excellent education, but be prepared to break out your wallets and give till it hurts.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 18
I think that a four day school week that is 1.5 hours longer will keep the education hours about the same. Everyone has a pet program that may have to be cut but education is far more important than many of the extra curricular programs. If we don’t want taxes to go up then some cutting will be necessary.
Like or Dislike: 10 6
Very true Dave, however the district has been dealing with a 5 million dollar shortfall over the last two years and Ms. Kovash herself will tell you that they have trimmed the budget to the bone already. Three Gubernatorial candidates, Dayton, Entenza and Kelliher have all said that no programs would be cut, that only leaves one source for revenue since they wont be cutting taxes to generate money either, that would be tax increases. I think the district made a mistake by eliminating the “neighborhood” schools in favor of consolidated ones which have much larger operating budgets. A four day school week is probably on the horizon since, like you said, the amount of hours can be maintained.
Like or Dislike: 9 12
If they go to a 4 day school week I’ll leave the district.
Of course, that assumes I would be able to sell my home, which would be questionable.
Like or Dislike: 7 13
Pete….wow…a whole new can O worms. I totally forgot about those who move into the district will have to possibly put their kids in a 4 day school week. Lots of people aren’t going to go for that.
Like or Dislike: 6 11
Especially if they are surrounded by districts that still have 5 day weeks.
As Moorhead’s business base is already weak, I don’t think the city could survive a major blow to their residential base.
Thankfully, I don’t think the topic has been brought up yet. If the levy doesn’t pass who knows what will be on the table.
Like or Dislike: 1 2
Let’s break it down: the levy is estimated to add $179 per YEAR to owners of houses valued at $100,000. That breaks down to about $15/month … three cups of fancy coffee, or 1/3 of a tank of gas (at least in my car), one ticket at the movies with popcorn/drink, etc. For education.
To me the opposition is really a knee-jerk reaction to anyone saying “we need to raise taxes.” Even if you are on a fixed income, if your house is valued at $100,000 I’m guessing you could come up with some way to cover the $15/mo … especially if you add that to your monthly savings rather than waiting until taxes are due to think about taxes.
Like or Dislike: 18 11
That may be true that it’s “only” that much. However, what about next time? Will it “only” be double that? Will it “only” be for schools? This can lead to a slippery slope. While I agree that this is a social contract (someone paid for me, so I will pay for others) that I have no problem with, I want to be sure it’s appropriately spent. Do we need to spend a lot of money on community education? Do we need to spend money on some of the programs? If there’s a need, or if they make money for the district, then let’s see the summary. What the district did last time was stupid, saying it needs money, but not providing details on where the money is going to go, or where it is going. A fact sheet or website would go a long way to providing that information.
Like or Dislike: 6 1
and each of those requests will have to go through the same procedure. And who knows what the future holds? Something may happen that changes how the state provides support to local schools. Parents may actually get more involved and reduce the necessity for high-cost special programs.
They can ask, and they can be rejected. But eventually, people have to stop having a knee-jerk reaction and do just what you’re doing … get involved in evaluating what’s going on. They may figure out that once in awhile a levy increase is exactly what is needed.
Like or Dislike: 1 1
OR that $15.00 per month goes to BREAD, MILK and a few pieces of FRUIT. – Some of us simply can’t afford ‘fancy coffee’, some of us haven’t been to a movie theater in years! What is ‘throw away’ money to one is survival to another… I’m just saying.
Like or Dislike: 10 2
I’m guessing if $15 is a huge amount of cash your family can’t eat without, that your phone rings off the hook with collections agencies trying to get money back from creditors all over the place we well.
It sounds like an impossible spot from which to recover.
Like or Dislike: 9 8
Actually you couldn’t be more wrong…. I don’t have much but what I do have is mine. I won’t say I don’t have any debt as there is a balance on one card but it is a very modest amount. I realize I can’t spend what I don’t have if I have no idea when or how long it would take me to pay it back. What it does mean is that I shop sales, use coupons and know where and on what my money is spent…… like I said I don’t have much but what I have is mine. And yes I could probably come up with .50 a day to pay for the levy, what other choice would I have but it also means that money will have to be taken out of a totally different monthly fund to make it happen. I am not complaining rather I would hope that others are able to see it isn’t always as ‘easy’ as one thinks to have ‘extra money’.
Like or Dislike: 5 2
I’m apologize. There was a bit of a miscommunication.
I meant that as a general statement. I wasn’t trying to imply that it meant living beyond one’s means, nor did I mean to insinuate you were.
I don’t think living an excessive lifestyle is as big a reason for financial distress as some people want to believe.
I just meant that usually people who are strapped for cash down to the dollar have some overdue bills.
I apologize for inadvertently putting you on the defensive, donna.
Like or Dislike: 7 3
Donna – I’m not saying there aren’t people who are that strapped for cash. I’m saying that I believe the majority of those who are complaining about the increase can easily make very small adjustments to accommodate the increase. But if you are THAT strapped for cash, there are other community programs (e.g. food stamps) that will help you get those necessities. (and before people start complaining about food stamps, it’s already funded … I’m not claiming we should start giving more money there)
Who is “fixing incomes?” This is still America, where everyone can earn as much income as they want to.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 5 15
I already think Pelican Rapids put a nail in their coffin with the whole 4-day school week, I’d hate to see Moorhead do the same. Though, obviously, Moorhead is much larger and has the private school option. I do think a 4-day school week is a terrible idea. I don’t have kids, nor do I ever plan to have kids, but do you honestly think your kids will sit through 1.5 hours extra of school per day? It’s not a job like you or I have where you can just do more in more time. They’re learning. Without focus, that extra 1.5 hours will be a waste. Also, how late do you expect our teachers to work? They’re already there by 7am and usually end up staying over an hour after school’s out to prepare for the next day, Pretty soon we’ll have teachers doing 12-13 hour days. They don’t get paid nearly enough for that. If you made the choice to have kids, PLEASE make the choice to give them a quality education!
Like or Dislike: 6 9
There are not very many 100,000.00 homes around any more. Many are near or above 200,000.00 so the 179 a year begins to escalate quickly. Don’t get sucked in by low end of the scale numbers.
Like or Dislike: 11 4
Median home value for Moorhead MN in 2008 (most current info I could locate): $149,697
Which means that half the homes in Moorhead are lower and half are higher.
So even figuring at that level, let’s say the median increase is $268 — or just over $22 mo. Not all that different than $15.
oh and since that was 2008, it doesn’t account for the plummeting home values in 2009.
Like or Dislike: 2 1
Kevin, in theory you are right, but only in theory. Some people are not well enough to work, others are too old to work, and others can’t get a job in this economy. These are the people who will get hammered with a tax increase that will only be going up in the future. In case you have any doubts about that just re read the article.
Like or Dislike: 9 2
I live in Moohead, and this fall will have 2 children in the school district I own a small home I am a divorced mom with little or no child support coming in. I have a degree but still I had to take a job outside of my degree just to put food on the table. I do not appreciate comments like Kevins. I realize this is true to an extent that we can all make what we want, but really Kevin that is in a perfect world. We have to wake up and face the facts sometimes not all of us can be so lucky as to stumble on to the BIG money maker jobs. I have to work and since im the only parent my kids have (no need to get into why the other one isn’t around) I can’t work more than two jobs and raise my kids properly. So for me fixed income Is part of my DNA. I will say this, when you do the Math I can take the tax increase compared to going to a 4 day school week that means for parents with Daycare bills it’s on an average of $30 a day for 1 kid in daycare for that whole day they would be in. Granted most daycares figure this in to the cost for the whole week but if your on part time they may make you go to full time because the hours will increase. I can afford $15 dollars a month for taxes before the daycare bill. I barley make it now with the kids in daycare in the summer and thatâ€™s because I put them in the parks programs. I understand our kids need the best education we have to give them, but we are all struggling here. If they raise taxes now then why don’t they just look at the big picture they have already said they will have to turn around in a few years and raise them again so just like I budget my expenses they need to look at what it will be for years to come and raise accordingly and stop nickel and diming the tax payers to death. If they can’t afford a new building then don’t build one, if they can’t afford 5 different sports areas etc etc then don’t build them. I can’t afford a new car so I drive what I can and make it work and my kids are doing fine on a 12 year old. If I can budget this and make it work on $20,000 some thousand a year then I think the school district can make this work. If there was no tax money to work with they would find a way because they would have to. I think government off all kinds gets caught up in the “oh we can just tax the people” I understand the taxes and I dont’ mind paying for my kids education but don’t tell me we are going to raise your taxes then in the same breath say oh yeah and in 2 years we are gonig to hit you again. Figure it out and then come to the tax payers with a better plan then this.
Like or Dislike: 15 3
Stephanie…wow..my heart goes out to you so it’s hard to be the bearer of bad news. On Jan. 1st the child tax credit goes from the 1000/per child that it is now down to 500 because the administration has no plans of renewing it. So you get saddled with yet another tax increase of nearly $84 dollars a month on top of the $15 they are proposing. An extra $100/month to someone in your income bracket is devastating and makes me wonder when it will ever end. We are always asked to do with less but government never is.
Oh great I think you just ruined my day…UGH it’s sad I count on that tax credit every year to make needed fixes around my house and buffer some of my bills through out the year. I understand the need the school districts have but I have needs as well and it just floors me when I see things like school districts in need of money because the state is broke well guess what I’m broke too, and now that I see I won’t be getting my other $1000 tax credit this year I am even more desperate then the school district is. Makes me wonder where they plan on spending that extra $500 they are taking from the parents who can claim it? The government is so ready to bail out big business I wonder who will get my extra $1000 this year? Hmmm …maybe Bank of America? or Well’s Fargo? Or is Morgan Stanly going to go belly up and they need it more then my children do? If I had to choose I would send it to the school district if congress is going to take it away and I have no change of getting it then give it to my kids school district at least my kids can bennifit somehow. In all fairness I can see why they would take itI mean really my kids don’t contribute to the economy like AIG does or they arn’t as invested as say Bank of America so I can understand why we would bail them out and not my kids. I mean heck all their trying to do is just stay alive and go to school with out holes in their jeans. Ok im done ranting
Like or Dislike: 8 1
Just something to keep in mind. Last year MHD Schools raised their activity feeâ€™s 200%. Our family with four kids went from $200 per year to $600 per year in activity fees. I understand extracurricular activities are voluntaryâ€¦.but try telling a 16 year old who has played hockey since he was 4 he canâ€™t play hockey because the cost went from $50 to $180. Next year your child tax credit goes from $1000 to $500 per child. So with no MHD School Levy approved our costs have already gone up $2,400. I wonâ€™t mention the fact that every federal income tax bracket will also go up some as much as 50%. Capital gains taxes go up 33% and dividend taxes go up 164%. These tax increases come before the â€œhealthcareâ€ costs also kick in. So MHD School District on top of this you want me to vote myself another $358 in tax increases?
Like or Dislike: 6 6
I don’t believe for a second that it cost $50 to sign up a 15 year old for hockey last year.
I have 3 sons in hockey and I know that figure is totally false. I think the $180 figure is false too. I’ve never paid that low of a sign-up fee, and the ice time is separate and additional on top of that.
Like or Dislike: 6 4
Jack if you are signed up for Pay School through the Moorhead School district you can pay online all activity fees. For the 09-10 season it was $180 for boys hockey (price is still posted on the website which you can easily verify). For the 08-09 season it was $50. Now of course this didn’t cover the cost of hotels/meals for overnight trips. The youth league costs are not the same as the High School fees and are much higher. I pasted the entry directly from the website below:
BOYS-Hockey fee (MHS)
Annual student fee to participate on the school’s Hockey team. Participants must also download, complete and return the school’s required eligibility forms by clicking here. Price: $180.00
Like or Dislike: 8 4
Or you could tell him what my parents told me: if I wanted to be involved in things that just weren’t in the budget I had to find a part time job – I delivered newspapers for the Forum for years – to help pay for it.
Like or Dislike: 4 0
As long as a large part of Dilworth is zoned in the Moorhead school district, a levy is going to be hard to pass. With all day kindergarten, small class sizes and the opportunity to participate in any activity regardless of ability in Dilworth, Glyndon, Felton, they are not going to go to Moorhead and they are not going to want to pay more taxes for a school that their kids are not enrolled in.
Like or Dislike: 0 1
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