A resounding “no” from Perkins Schools voters has denied the district new funds yet again. For the fourth straight time in a year, voters rejected a tax levy proposal Tuesday, with 58 percent voting against the measure, according to unofficial election results.
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The 3.95-mill, 10-year levy would have generated $1.68 million a year for the district. It would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $138 in additional taxes a year. Perkins Township resident Mary Bakewell, a vocal opponent of Perkins Schools levies throughout the past year, said the repeated failures boil down to two key issues — a lack of expendable income among elderly voters, and a general distrust of the district.
“People are fed up with Perkins Schools,” Bakewell said. “There’s no trust in the board, or anything about the district. It’s all gone”
Perkins Schools officials retooled their approach this levy campaign, touting a lofty goal of restoring $1 million in district programming if voters approved the levy.
After hosting a series of community meetings, school board members focused on meeting attendees’ key concerns in their restoration proposal.
Despite the effort, the district still couldn’t sway a majority of voter support.
With the levy’s failure, Perkins Schools is now projecting its operating funds will be completely depleted by 2017.
Its annual operating budget is about $21 million.
Voters haven’t approved a new operating levy for Perkins Schools since 2000.
Costly budget cuts are likely looming, with updates possible at the next Perkins school board meeting May 14.
Perkins Schools superintendent Jim Gunner did not return a phone message Tuesday night seeking comment.