Open forum: Cast an informed vote | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Open forum: Cast an informed vote

Posted: January 25, 2011 - 7:00pm

Some people have said that they are against the Pequot Lakes School District’s proposed capital bond referendum because they don’t want their taxes to go up. The fact is that the school district needs to make repairs to the facilities. So even if the referendum fails, residents’ taxes might go up almost as much just for those repairs. And then we wouldn’t get the additions that are needed to accommodate the growing student population.  

No one wants to pay more taxes. But very little of our property tax dollars actually go to the school district. For residents in the main part of Pequot Lakes, less than 8 percent of their property taxes go to the school district.  Most of their property taxes go to the city and county. There are more than 70 different tax rates across Crow Wing County, so residents’ exact tax rates vary depending on where their property is located. But what remains constant is that only a small portion of their property tax dollars fund the Pequot Lakes School District.  

We are fortunate that our school district has one of the largest property tax bases in Minnesota. Because the cost of the referendum will be spread out across this large property tax base, each of us has to pay only a small increase in our taxes.

Everyone needs to understand this: if the referendum fails, our taxes could go up almost as much as they would if it passes. And we wouldn’t get the best “bang for the buck” that we would get if the referendum passes. A strong school district contributes to a strong community, which in turn contributes to strength in property values.  

Please cast an informed vote —vote “yes” on Feb. 8.

Bryn Yahn

Pequot Lakes