Election 2022: Three Forks Schools Factory Levy FAQ

Why does the district need a general fund levy when the community just passed a bond?

Bonds are used to finance real estate projects, constructions or real estate purchases. Factory royalties are for operating costs. Each’s spend is limited to a specific scope and language. The recently adopted bond for the TFS construction project contains specific language that limits the expenditure of funds to only identified construction projects. The factory fee is specifically for operating costs which inevitably increase due to the additional 30,000 square feet of space with associated personnel, custodial, maintenance and utility expenses.

Why did the district recently purchase a new TFS activity bus rather than use that money to raise teacher salaries?

The TFS Activity Bus was purchased with the Bus Sinking Fund – by law this fund can ONLY be used to purchase buses and make bus safety upgrades. This fund collects income from the depreciation of existing buses. The only way to generate income on this account is to buy a bus. This fund CANNOT be used for salaries – not even for bus driver salaries.

How do we know if our tax dollars are being managed wisely?

The TFS presents all complaints in public forums twice a month. Complaints are examined and approved by the administration and by the board of directors. In addition, an independent audit is carried out every year and the conclusions are shared at a public meeting. TFS’s most recent audit report contained “no findings of concern or misleading”.

What will the Mill Levy be used for?

Funds from this Mill Levy will be used to provide increased staff salaries, fund new staffing positions created by the build bond project, and replace and repair equipment. With the addition of approximately 30,000 square feet, there will be increased operating costs including increased costs for health insurance, liability insurance, utilities, technology, maintenance and salaries.

How much can the district request?

The Three Forks School District is authorized to raise up to $464,724 from the elementary district to meet the state’s maximum allowable budget and $294,341 from the secondary school district, for a total of $759,065. The TFS District is requesting a total of $640,000 with the council’s recommendation.

Who determines if there is a factory fee?

The TFS administration presented three options and the board approved a factory levy for both elementary and high school. Registered voters will choose to approve or reject this recommendation when it appears on the May ballot.

What are the staff recruitment and retention statistics?

The average number of applicants for a teaching position has generally varied between 20 and 40 applicants in recent years. Currently, the district receives 0 to 6 candidates on average per advertisement.

How will this affect my taxes?

This tax will increase property taxes in the following ways: approximately $64.15 per year for a $100,000 home, $128.29 per year for a $200,000 home, and $192.44 per year for a $300 home. $000. This equates to $5.35, $10.69, and $16.04 per month, respectively. As the tax base increases over time, the burden on individual taxpayers is reduced.

How does Three Forks Schools compare to other districts when it comes to mills?

The district compared factory levy taxes in the Three Forks School District to other neighboring districts. This comparison showed that Three Forks’ has average taxes; meanwhile, Belgrade and Manhattan claim the top two most expensive spots.

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