Helena’s school levies passed Tuesday night. Voters in Helena approved a one percent increase to their existing tax bills.
Elementary district local taxes will increase by $200,000. Taxes on a $100,000 home will go up $3.63 annually.
For the high school district, local taxes will increase by $11,500. Taxes on a $100,000 home will increase 16 cents annually.
“We are very appreciative of the community stepping forward and any amount of money, even though it’s incremental, is important for us to provide services,” Superintendent Bruce Messinger said.
Just before 11 p.m. administrators said slightly more than 25 percent of register voters participated, which is similar to last year’s percentage. A total of 5,951 residents voted in favor of the high school levy, and 5,069 against; and 5,462 supported the elementary district with 4,240 against.
Messinger said the district would have hoped to be a better place right now and be able maintain levels that included stimulus dollars.
“But we aren’t in a position to do that,” he said.
Messinger also said he could have liked to see a higher increase from legislators that recently convened. He said educators were hoping for a 1.9 percent increase, but in the end it was one percent.
Messinger said the budget is in the red going into contract negotiations.
“We are still working on our budget and still have lots of decisions to make,” he said. “It’s pretty tight but we’ll try creatively to move stuff around.”
Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or firstname.lastname@example.org