By KARI BLURTON
USD 489 Superintendent Dean Katt begins a “Talking Tour” this week in Hays to review and answer questions about the upcoming local option budget election.
The first meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hays High School and is one of seven Katt will make throughout the community.
Katt discussed drafting the tour’s “talking points” with school board members at Monday’s USD 489 Board of Education work session. The election will be through a mail-in ballots, which must be submitted by noon June 27.
Katt said the purpose of the tour is to “review where we are budget-wise, why we are looking at increasing the LOB by one percent and obviously what the money will be used for.”
One effect of the recently adopted state school financing measure would be a lowering of LOB revenues for USD 489.
“We will actually lose money in the LOB, if we stay at 30 percent, Katt said. “The mill levy would go down 0.54 mills. Taxes would decrease $62 dollars a year on a $100,000 house.”
A 1 percent increase to the LOB would generate approximately $200,000 in revenue for use in the general fund, which includes day-to-day operations and cost the average homeowner an extra 19 cents per month.
“It will make a big difference in our financial situation in the future,” said Katt, adding the tour will provide a way “get the facts out and give people the opportunity to ask questions so they can hear from the source about the impact the increase would have on taxes.”
Board President Greg Schwartz pointed out the public would need to know if the LOB passes the board does have the right to raise the LOB another 1 percent within a year’s time without going to public vote.
A schedule of Katt’s entire tour and more information on the LOB can be found on USD 489’s website.
Check Hays Post for additional information on the upcoming LOB election.