The Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 is pursuing a property tax increase on November’s ballot, two years after voters defeated a similar campaign by a 10-point margin. This time, the district’s board hopes a refocused message on how the increased funds would be used will win over voters.
Montezuma County voters will have issue 4A on their ballots for November’s election (mailed ballots will be sent out Monday, according to the county clerk’s office). If passed, 4A would increase property taxes by a levy of 5 mills. The district estimates close to $2.9 million dollars would come from the increase.
The ballot issue outlines the use of the extra tax dollars for teacher salaries and benefits, non-administrative support staff, and school resource officers. Accountability in how the money is used, a key argument for those who voted down the 2017 campaign, has taken center stage in this year’s campaign.
Board member Jack Schuenemeyer believes messaging focused around the district’s accountability of the possible funds, and its use toward improving the salaries of teachers, will help pass 4A in November.
Schuenemeyer joined KSJD’s Daniel Rayzel to talk about why the district is seeking the mill levy and what he learned from the 2017 tax campaign.