Voted PPEL would provide key funds for school infrastructure

Superintendent John Cain.

On Tuesday, March 5, South Tama County Community School District residents will vote on a voted Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). As your superintendent, I urge you to know the facts.

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

As we continue to focus on preparing students for future career and college opportunities, our district must ensure they have access to critical resources and services. In addition, in light of the Perry CCSD tragedy, it is important for our district to upgrade the safety and security within all of our buildings, more specifically at our high school.

Of Iowa’s 331 public school districts, more than 85% have a voted PPEL in place for fiscal year 2024. In fact, most Iowa schools have had a voted PPEL in place for over a quarter century. Our South Tama Community has infrustructure needs. This levy will allow our District to leverage the funding necessary to enhance the safety of our learning environment and continue to maintain current facilities across our District.

With an approved voted PPEL of $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value, we intend to offset the $1.00 increase 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 $14.45 and with an approved voted PPEL South Tama’s projected tax rate would be around $14.50. That is a difference of $.05 per $1000 of assessed value. That’s right, $.05 per $1000.

Specifically, 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 replacement of aging school buses.

Community engagement throughout this process is critical. Our community needs a strong school district. Please be responsible for knowing the facts. I would encourage anyone who would like more information to please visit: www.southtamacountyppel.org.

On behalf of South Tama County CSD, I want to thank our community for the engagement and support you have shown throughout this process. We challenge our voters to be educated on this topic, place trust in our Board and District as our future depends upon you. Your vote on March 5th is a vote for our community, our children and our future. Please visit the polls on March 5th. Thank you.