Urbana schools’ renewal levy on ballot

Voters will have an Urbana City Schools renewal levy on the ballot in the March presidential primary.

The district is seeking renewal of its 14.8-mill levy on the March ballot. The issue is for a “continuous” levy, not to be voted on again if approved. The levy is estimated to generate $2.3 million next year. It expires in December.

The 14.8-mill levy is a combination of two prior levies in 2001 – a 7.2-mill levy and a 7.6-mill levy.

The school board decided to seek a continuous levy to reduce the number of levies voters decide on a regular basis. Cutting down on the number of levies can save district money, since school districts and other entities must share the cost of an election when they have issues on the ballot.

This is not the first school district levy to become continuous. The district’s 3.5-mill permanent improvement levy is the most recent continuous levy approved by voters. The district also has an 8.5-mill levy from 1960, a 12-mill levy from 1968, a 4.5-mill levy from 1971, and a 5.2-mill levy from 1980 that are continuous, Treasurer Mandy Hildebrand said previously.

The school district has two other levies for voters to approve – a 9.75-mill one and a 5.9-mill one. The 9.75-mill levy is a five-year renewal last approved in 2013; the 5.9-mill levy was renewed in November for five years.

If the 14.8-mill levy is not renewed in March, the district could try again in a special election in the summer or in the November general election.

By Casey S. Elliott


Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.