Referendum election set for November 5, 2024

Referendum election set for November 5, 2024
Posted on 05/14/2024
Referendum election set for November 5, 2024Dear Farmington Area Public Schools Parents and Families:

I want to make you aware of an important decision made by the Farmington Area School Board at its May 13 meeting. Along with having a significant impact on our learners and the future of our district, it is a decision that is important for staff, parents and community to be aware of and learn more.

The board voted unanimously to schedule an operating levy referendum election for November 5, 2024. The proposal on the ballot will ask voters to revoke the district’s existing operating levy of $696.15 per pupil and replace it with a new levy of $1,556.15 per pupil. The new levy will provide approximately $11 million ($5 million from previous levy and $6 million from new levy) per year for 10 years.

The current levy, which was approved by voters in the fall 2015, will expire after the 2025-2026 school year. Expiration of this levy would result in a loss of approximately $5 million per year. This new proposed levy would replace the 2015 levy and allow the district to stabilize its funding.

The district is also projecting a deficit of approximately $2.2 million for the 2024-2025 school year. The board has decided to cover the deficit using a portion of the district’s fund balance. The use of the fund balance will help solve the short term deficit, but it is not a long-term solution. This new proposed levy would replace the 2015 levy and provide the district with funding stabilization.

If the operating levy is approved, the district will be able to maintain current experiences for our learners and begin to look at program enhancements. 

If the operating levy is not approved, the district will need to make additional budget reductions that will increase class sizes, eliminate educational programs and reduce learning opportunities for students. The district will also need to address the lost revenue from the 2015 levy, which will expire after the 2025-2026 school year.

In proposing the new levy, the board carefully considered the tax implications for district residents. If approved, school property taxes for district residents with a home valued at $350,000 will increase by about $35.50 per month. However, the long-range tax impact of the operating levy will be significantly reduced in the coming years. In 2027-2028, a previously-approved bond levy (used to build FHS and remodel RVES to an elementary school) will expire resulting in a reduction in school property taxes of $383 per year or $31.92 per month on a $350,000 home.  Residents will see another drop in school property taxes in 2031-2032 when another bond levy (deferred maintenance) will expire resulting in an additional decrease of $683 per year or $56.92 per month.

We will continue to share additional information about the referendum proposal. You can also go to our website for more information or email [email protected] with any questions. 

Jason Berg