The Western Dubuque School District will ask voters to extend the current revenue purpose statement in the upcoming Nov. 2 election.
Revenue purpose statements allow school boards to use money from Iowa sales tax to fund projects in their districts. A simple majority is needed for passage.
Western Dubuque’s current revenue purpose statement is set to expire in 2031. By approving the statement in November, voters will extend the statement to 2051.
The vote to extend the revenue purpose statement does not affect property tax. “This isn’t a yes or no vote on whether Western Dubuque should receive those dollars. The district is getting them regardless of the vote,” explained Mark Frasher, director of business and finance at Western Dubuque. “A yes vote will give the board the flexibility they need to utilize those resources the way they best see fit for our growing district.”
Frasher said money from sales tax dollars have funded several projects in the district over the past 10 years. “That has allowed us to avoid issuing general obligation bonds that are repaid with property tax. We also used between $400,000 to $600,000 in sales tax annually for the last 10 years to directly buy down the debt service levy to help repay the general obligation bonds issued in 2012 to build the auditorium at Western Dubuque High School and the gymnasium at Cascade High School.”
Frasher noted other uses of the sales tax dollars in the district the past several years included constructing and equipping Dyersville Elementary and Peosta Elementary and subsequent additions to both buildings, an addition at Drexler Middle School that included a gymnasium, music rooms and offices, constructing the Transportation and Maintenance facility, purchasing and renovating the current administration building and purchasing technology and security systems throughout the entire district.
Frasher said planning is underway in the spring of 2022 that will begin the second phase of the vocational building at Western Dubuque High School that will be funded with the current sales tax program.
He added that with continued growth expected throughout the district, additional plans could be on the table in a few years.
“We are constantly monitoring our enrollment in relation to our building capacities. It’s not out of the question we might need to be constructing a new building in the next three to five years if numbers keep growing.”