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Published: Saturday, 1/22/2005

Forums aim to gain support for Lake school levies

To get as much information as possible to the public regarding the financial situation of Lake Local schools, the Let's Approve Kids' Education levy support committee will host four public forums next week.

Officials hope the effort gains more support for the two tax proposals that will appear on the Feb. 8 special election ballot, said Mark Timmons, president of the parent organization who has two children in the district's schools.

The Lake Local Board of Education is asking voters to approve a combination of a 0.5 percent income tax and a $2 million emergency property levy to cover operating expenses.

If both pass, they would be effective for five years and are expected to generate a combined $2.8 million annually.

District officials said both taxes need to pass to head off a budget deficit that will start at $1.2 million next school year and increase after that.

The property levy is estimated to be equivalent to 8.75 mills, with one mill equaling $1 of tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

Mr. Timmons said several district officials and members of the levy support committee will attend the forums.

The public forums will be held at the Lake Middle School media center on:

●● Monday at 7 p.m.

●● Tuesday at 8 a.m.

●● Wednesday at noon.

●● Thursday at 7 p.m.

A 1.5 percent income tax was defeated Nov. 2 by a more than 2-1 margin, and an 11-mill property levy failed Aug. 3.

After the August levy was defeated, the school board voted to eliminate all sports and other extracurricular activities, only to reverse itself later that month after parents circulated petitions in support of putting the income tax on the subsequent ballot.

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