Last spring, the governor signed into law an extension of Secure an Advanced Vision for Education or (SAVE). This extension runs through the year 2050. SAVE allows Cedar Falls Schools, and all public school districts in the state, the opportunity to borrow against the money each district would receive through the statewide penny sales tax for schools. Those funds are used to pay for school infrastructure projects. However, before we can use the funding for long-term projects (through 2050), the voters must approve a new revenue purpose statement (RPS). The RPS will be on the ballot on Tuesday, March 3rd. This is a requirement of the extension.
Just like our current revenue purpose statement, Cedar Falls Schools will continue to use the SAVE funds for projects similar to past projects, including:
-To provide funds for property tax relief
-To provide funds to build, purchase and/or lease and furnish a new school building or buildings
-To provide funds for information technology infrastructure
The RPS is not additional funding or a tax increase. The Revenue Purpose Statement simply allows the district to spend the funds as allowed by Iowa law.
A simple majority (50% +1) is needed for passage. The approved Revenue Purpose Statement shall remain in effect until replaced or amended by the School District.
The election office will be utilizing five vote centers for this election. Vote centers are polling locations that combine multiple precincts, allowing voters to choose at which location to vote. All vote centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The complete vote center list is below:
(Vote Center 1): St. John Lutheran Church, 715 College Street (upper level) (Vote Center 2): Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4000 Hudson Road
(Vote Center 3): Church of Christ, 2727 W 4th Street
(Vote Center 4): Cedar Heights Community Presbyterian Church, 2015 Rainbow Drive (lower level)
(Vote Center 5): Trinity Bible Church, 125 Orchard Drive
Why are we voting March 3?
The school board called for an election on March 3, 2020, to ask the community to consider the approval of an updated Revenue Purpose Statement. This can only be done through voter approval. The Revenue Purpose Statement currently allows the school district to utilize the funds collected by the state-wide penny sales tax (SAVE) in ways Iowa law allows through 2029. If voters approve the Revenue Purpose Statement in March, the school district will continue to be able to use the penny sales tax (SAVE) funds as allowed by Iowa law for the duration of the penny sales tax (SAVE) through 2050.
What is a Revenue Purpose Statement?
It is a ballot issue that describes the permissible uses for the state-wide penny sales tax/SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education), funds that the state of Iowa has dedicated to Iowa schools.
Do we currently have a Revenue Purpose Statement?
Yes, we have a current Revenue Purpose Statement that allows the District to utilize the funds collected by the penny sales tax (SAVE) in permissible ways, but this will expire in 2031.
Why is this important now?
Our district's current Revenue Purpose Statement will expire January 1, 2031. We would like to extend our current Revenue Purpose Statement language for the duration of the penny sales tax (SAVE) which is allowed by Iowa law. (Through calendar year 2050).
Will this raise my taxes?
This will NOT raise your taxes. This is an extension of the current Revenue Purpose Statement which will allow the school district to continue to utilize the funds as allowed by Iowa law. The sole purpose of the revenue purpose statement is to describe the uses for which the revenue may be used for in the Cedar Falls School District.
Is this a vote on the statewide penny tax?
No, this is not a vote on the penny sales tax (SAVE). The state legislature has already set the rate at a penny. It is a vote to extend our current Revenue Purpose Statement language for the duration of the penny sales tax (SAVE).
Is this a vote to increase the statewide penny tax?
When will the Revenue Purpose Statement vote be held?
The election is set for March 3, 2020. A simple majority (50% + 1) is required for the Revenue Purpose Statement to pass.
What if the Revenue Purpose Statement is not approved?
If the proposed revenue purpose statement is not approved, the district shall not submit the same or new revenue purpose statement to the electors for a period of 6 months from the date of the previous election. If the Revenue Purpose statement is not passed by 2030, the District will continue to receive the funds but must spend according to the waterfall of uses set forth by the state.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Contact Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Andy Pattee, at 319-553-3000.