West Branch board to seek levy

BELOIT- The West Branch school board Wednesday unanimously agreed to pursue an operational levy on the May ballot.

The board approved a resolution of necessity to raise $2,043,127 annually, which would be a .75 percent income tax. The board is requesting the state tax commissioner to estimate the respective rates of both an income tax and property tax to determine which to pursue. The board must decide by Feb. 5, the deadline for submitting issues to the board of elections for the May ballot.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Weingart said the board will likely make a decision on the type and length of levy at its Jan. 30 meeting. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a .75 percent continuing income tax on the November ballot.

Treasurer Daniel Telzrow’s five-year forecast shows growing deficit spending over the next few years, leading to a projected $2.6 million cash balance deficit in 2017 despite a series of reductions in staffing, a pay freeze for all employees and reductions in operating budgets.

The district last passed a levy for additional operating dollars in 1997.