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School District: Passing a New Levy is 'Critical'

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School District: Passing a New Levy is 'Critical'

Clarification: With treasurer Rick Berdine's , the district is facing a $9.9 million shortfall through fiscal year 2016.

It’s no secret that the will need to ask voters to pass a new school levy in 2013.

Through fiscal year 2016, the district is facing a — the result of several factors, including massive state cuts and dropping home values.

Superintendent Jeffrey Patterson said recently that the last levy — passed by Lakewood voters in 2010 — has been “negated by the state cuts."

School officials are getting ready to ask voters to pass another levy.

What’s not yet known is how many mills the district will seek from voters.

Christine Gordillo, the district’s spokeswoman, said the district will likely conduct a community survey “to determine what the tolerance level of the community is for various levels of millage.”

“The board then takes that into consideration when it decides the millage,” she added.

Rick Berdine, the district’s treasurer, who’s expected to step down at the end of the month, called the passage of the 2013 levy “critical.”

He noted that the survey was helpful getting the 2010 levy passed.

“There was discussion that it would take 12.9 mills to continue operating the district in the same manner as was occurring at that time,” he said, “but it was never viewed by anyone as a realistic, supportable request to place before the community.”

Berdine said that 12 mills would cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $395 per year in additional taxes. 

The current 6.9 mills costs the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $211 per year in additional taxes, he said. 

“I am not sure what to think about taxpayer sentiment to acceptable millage amounts,” Berdine said. “I do know that 6.9 mills has become a somewhat common millage amount, but the decision as to when to go on the ballot and millage amount is a board decision.”

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