The levy would have increased the district’s income tax rate from 0.5 percent to 1.25 percent. The increased taxes would have generated about $3.8 million a year for Norwalk Schools, up from the current $1.5 million.
When they placed the levy on the ballot, board members thought the unconventional proposal might curb a series of failed traditional levy attempts.
Norwalk Schools is now facing a $1.8 million deficit in the current school year, with a budget of about $24 million, according to its five-year financial forecast. It is set to spend all its reserve cash by 2017.
“We’re going to continue to promote our programs and improve our schools as well as we can, but at the same time we plan to make deep, painful cuts,” superintendent Dennis Doughty said. “We can’t continue to operate at the deficit we are right now.”
Voters haven’t approved a new levy for Norwalk Schools since 1991.