South Tama County residents to vote on Physical Plant and Equipment Levy March 5

South Tama County Community School District residents will vote on a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) on Tuesday, March 5.

The PPEL is a voter-approved levy that generates funds for infrastructure and equipment repairs, purchases, and improvements. Per state law, funds can only be used for these purposes.

Of Iowa’s 331 public school districts, more than 85% have a voted PPEL in place in fiscal year 2024. Most Iowa schools have had a voted PPEL in place for over a quarter century. South Tama does not.

With an approved voted PPEL of $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value, the South Tama County Community School District intends to offset the $1.00 levy with reductions to other areas. This is possible through a mixture of income surtax with the PPEL and altering other levies. South Tama’s current overall tax rate is $14.44.

The district plans to use these funds to expand the grades 7-12 VocAg program, upgrade the high school cafeteria and gymnasium, purchase technology upgrades and improve school safety. Funds would also go toward roof repairs and replacement, HVAC system maintenance and upgrades and the replacement of school buses.

“The voter-approved PPEL is critical for us to address items found in the state safety audit, address large maintenance projects, and expand our VocAg program,” said John Cain, Superintendent. “These funds will allow us to continue making strategic investments to protect our district’s assets and ensure our students have the opportunities they need to succeed and thrive.”

If the voted PPEL is not approved, the district would need to use general fund or SAVE money to support building upkeep, transportation, and technology, delaying projects originally planned for the SAVE fund.

Additional information on the voted PPEL is available at https://www.southtamacountyppel.org. Voters will need to show a valid ID before casting their ballot. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on election day. Voters can find their polling locations at https://sos.iowa.gov/elections.