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Published: Wednesday, 7/16/2008

Swanton school board seeks lower income tax

SWANTON - The Swanton Local Board of Education is asking voters to renew its income tax rate at 0.75 percent - a half-percent less than the 1.25 percent being collected - in the November election.

The board voted unanimously last night to put the tax measure before voters. It is expected to generate about $1.4 million annually.

The tax, which generated about $2.2 million, or 17 percent of the district's revenues last year, is set to expire in December, 2009.

Treasurer Cheryl Swisher said the district finished last school year with a $7.3 million carryover balance.

"Our goal is sort of to take what we need and not what we don't," she said. "We believe 0.75 [percent] is sufficient to financially support the district."

The board declined to seek renewal for its 3.3-mill permanent improvement levy, which is being collected at a rate of 1.3 mills. The tax generated about $330,000 last year, Ms. Swisher said.

If the income tax request would fail, board members said they would bring it back before voters next November.

"This is a presidential election, so we wanted to throw our cards on the table when we'd have the greatest number of voters," board member Mike Wiederman said.

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