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Crunching the numbers: biggest school bond, mill elections

5:54 PM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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In Jefferson County, the school district wants voters to consider a $99 million bond issue for building projects, and a $39 million mill levy override to increase classroom budgets. The impact would be a property tax increase of about $44 for the year on a $300,000 home.

Governor John Hickenlooper's budget, released Thursday, promises more money to K-12 schools. This is due in part to a one-time influx of an estimated $678 million into the state education fund thanks to House Bill 12-1338.

The law calls for the transfer of any state general fund surplus into the state education fund. Part of that money accounts for Governor Hickenlooper's proposed increase to the K-12 education system from about $4.4 billion to $4.6 billion, $213 million more.

The Governor's budget proposal released Thursday afternoon shows that Jeffco Schools would receive an additional $12 million in funding for the 2013-14 fiscal year. That increase is supposed to offset a period of cuts dating back to 2009 where the district has faced about $123 million in cuts to the classroom budgets.

Across the metro area in the Cherry Creek School District, voters will consider a $99 million bond issue to be used for technology and building renovations and a $25 million mill levy override to offset cuts in previous years. If passed, someone who owns a $300,000 home would pay an additional $96 in property taxes for the year.

The governor's budget would give Cherry Creek an additional $11 million for 2013-14. Over three years, the district is facing cuts totaling more than $56 million to the classroom budgets.

In Denver, the school district is asking voters for the most. The ballot question calls for a $466 million bond issue for maintenance on the numerous old buildings within DPS. Voters will consider a $49 million mill levy override for student enrichment programs and support services. For the owner of a $220,000 home in Denver, the property tax increase would be about $140 for the year.

The proposed budget would give DPS an additional $16 million to use for classroom budgets. But, over a four-year period, the school district is facing cuts of more than $175 million in funding to be used to operate schools.

Both Cherry Creek and DPS were successful in passing their bond and mill levy override questions in 2008. Just four years ago, Denver voters approved a $454 million bond issue used to fund numerous for building projects including the restorations of North and West High Schools.

Jefferson County tried to pass a $350 million bond issue and $34 million mill levy override in 2008, but those attempts failed.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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