DAWSON Dawson-Boyd Public Schools is seeking a $460-per-pupil operating levy this fall. It would replace an expiring $270-per-pupil levy.

The current levy brings in $170,000 a year to help pay for district operations. The new levy would bring in another $115,000.

As with most other school districts, Dawson-Boyd faces financial challenges because state aid has not kept pace with inflation for years. In addition, the federal government has not kept its promise to pay a substantial portion of special education costs that it requires.

The School Board decided to set the levy at $460, because the state will match it dollar-for-dollar to that level, said Superintendent David Hansen.

Hansen said he’s spoken with people at community meetings and at the Lac qui Parle County Fair about the proposed levy.

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A question that comes up often in a farming community is how the levy affects agricultural land. Farmland is not taxed for an operating levy, except for the value of a house, garage and one acre.

“We’ve been pretty good stewards of the money,” Hansen said, but costs continue to increase.

The district needs to purchase curriculum, to find ways to expand its career/technical courses and increase college in school offerings.

Another challenge is attracting and retaining staff members, he said.

Dawson-Boyd’s levy is among the lowest in its area, according to the district’s website. The new levy would still be lower than most nearby comparable districts.

Absentee voting is available through Nov. 1 at the district offices. Due to a remodeling project in the district, the office is currently in the agriculture classrooms at the high school.

On Election Day Nov. 2, a single polling place will be open at the Dawson City Hall, 675 Chestnut St. in Dawson.

The state has two programs for tax refunds or tax deferral for property owners who qualify. Information is available at revenue.state.mn.us.

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