PPEL vote to be held February 6

The Keota School District will hold a Voter Approved PPEL vote on February 6, 2018 from noon until 8 p.m. at the Libertyville Savings Bank.

With school funding primarily coming from community tax revenue, voters are being urged to make their way to the polls for the upcoming special election that will decide if the $1.34 ten-year simple majority vote will pass.

The Physical, Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) fund is a fund designed for buildings, equipment, and buses over the $500 threshold.

Nearly every district has a standard PPEL levy of $.33 per thousand. In edition, each district is able to vote in up to $1.34 for a total of $1.67, which helps with the purchasing of transportation in the form of buses, cars, and other equipment.

“Two years ago, the Legislature also approved allowing districts to pay for repairs on buses when the repair is over $2,500 on any one vehicle.  This was a common sense move, since we paid for a bus out of PPEL, but in the past, we would then fix that same asset with General Fund dollars.  As an example, if we had to replace an engine that can run from $12,000-15,000 we would have to use General fund money to pay for the repair. Now we are able to pay for repairs over $2,500 out of PPEL,” says Principal and Superintendent Jim Henrich.

There are very strict guidelines when it comes to how the PPEL funding can be used.

With the current $1.74 per thousand general obligation bond coming to an end from property taxes this year, property owners will see a decrease on their taxes.

“This is the perfect time for the district to move forward with the voter approved increase. With the amount set at $1.34, voters will still be receiving a tax break while helping support the district in being able to make significant gains in areas such as technology and transportation,” Business Manager Jeff Dieleman said. “There will still be a decrease of $.40 per thousand from previous years.”

“This fund can’t be used for staffing or supplies, that is why we refer to it as a restricted fund,” Henrich said. “This funding stream is vital in Keota’s future in areas such as providing technology, maintaining safe transportation and keeping maintenance up on our buildings while lowering current taxes.”

Currently Keota has the regular bond of $.33, which brings in an approximate tax revenue of $50,000. With the voter approved increase this amount would raise to approximately $200,000.

“The Keota district is behind in areas such as technology. With this PPEL increase, the district would easily be able to get students where they are needed in areas of technology. The board would also be able to focus on replacing buses that are far past needing replaced,” Dieleman said.