February Election Set for Iowa City School District Voters

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By Ellen Kurt

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Another big election is coming for voters in the Iowa City school district.

The school board voted 6-0 Tuesday night to set a Feb. 5 election date on what is known as a revenue purpose statement.

The goal of the election is to make more money immediately available for use on building projects. School facilities has been the subject of a divisive debate in the school district this year, with east-side parents saying their schools have been neglected, while parents on the western and northern sides of the district are calling for a new high school by them.

The revenue purpose statement declares how sales tax revenue that goes to the school district can be spent. One is in place now until 2017 from the 2007 election approving a school infrastructure local-options sales tax, or SILO.

But district leaders say not enough money is coming in each year to keep up with building needs in the fast-growing district, so they want to borrow ahead on future sales tax revenue. To access funds beyond 2017 requires a new revenue purpose statement. Voter approval could open up about $100 million.

The revenue purpose statement is intentionally broad so as to not limit what the money can be used on in the future. Among other things, the proposal says money could go toward new buildings, additions to existing schools and renovations.

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