shortcutNov 15, 2018
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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.