shortcutNov 21, 2017
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Proposal above “tax levy limit” requires supermajority approval

The state’s tax levy cap places restrictions on how school districts may increase their tax levies. It requires each district to calculate its own “tax levy limit,” which determines the highest allowable tax levy (before exclusions).

A tax levy is the amount that a school district can propose and need the approval of only a simple majority of voters (50 percent plus 1). When that amount is combined with a district’s exclusions, as allowed by state law, the combined total is known as the maximum allowable tax levy.

A district may present voters with a budget proposal that carries a tax levy amount that exceeds its tax levy limit, but budget passage then requires approval by a supermajority of voters (60 percent or more).

 If a district chooses to exceed the tax levy limit, the ballot would require the following language:

"Adoption of this budget requires a tax levy increase of [X percent] which exceeds the statutory tax levy increase limit of [Y percent] for this school fiscal year and therefore exceeds the state tax cap and must be approved by sixty percent of the qualified voters present and voting."

If a district fails to obtain a supermajority for a proposal that exceeds the tax levy limit, the same rules for a budget defeat apply: the district could:

  • resubmit the same proposal for a revote
  • submit a revised proposal for a revote, or
  • adopt a contingent budget.