News & Features

Six Flathead County School Districts Holding Levy Elections

Requests include general fund levies and technology levies

Six Flathead County public school districts are floating levies on May 7, with three sending out mail-in ballots and three holding walk-in elections.

Kalispell, Helena Flats and West Valley are holding all-mail elections, while voters in Whitefish, Marion and Evergreen will head to polling locations on May 7. Ballots for the mail-in elections have been sent out to voters and are due back to the respective district offices by 8 p.m. on May 7.

There are also seven districts running trustee elections: Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Fair-Mont-Egan, Whitefish, Kalispell, Evergreen and Smith Valley.

Kalispell

The high school district is requesting a $1.2 million general fund levy to fund day-to-day operations and services, the same type of levy that voters approved for the elementary district last May. The high school district has already had to slash nearly $900,000 over a two-year period from the high school district budget.

“The passage of this levy means the district will avoid the need to cut $1.2 million from the high school general fund,” Superintendent Mark Flatau said.

Main funding areas for the levy include technology, curriculum, activities, individualized and technical learning, and safety and security. The high school district includes Glacier and Flathead high schools, as well as Linderman Education Center and Agricultural Education Center.

“This is a very important levy for our students and our community,” Flatau said. “We haven’t passed a high school levy in 12 years in our district and much has changed.”

The estimated tax impact on a median assessed $275,000 home would be $35 per year.

Ballots were mailed out to current registered voters on April 22 and must be received by the district office by 8 p.m. on May 7. Voter registration is available through May 7 at the county election office.

For more information, call the district office at (406) 751-3434 or visit www.sd5.k12.mt.us.

Whitefish

The Whitefish School Board has elected to run a technology levy on the May 7 school election ballot for the high school and elementary school districts. A general fund levy will also appear on the ballot for the elementary district.

The elementary general fund levy is for $50,975. If approved, owners of homes with $200,000 assessed values can expect an annual tax increase of $2.43.

The technology levy is for $321,600. If approved, the annual tax impact is estimated to be an $11.08 increase on a $200,000 home.

Voters living in the high school district, which encompasses Whitefish and will affect a portion of Olney-Bissell School District residents, will see a $158,400 technology levy on the ballot. If approved, owners of homes with assessed values of $200,000 may see an annual tax increase of $3.80.

There are also two, three-year terms open on the school board with four candidates — incumbent Nick Polumbus, Marguerite Kaminski, Todd Lengacher, and Darcy Schellinger.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 7 at the Whitefish Middle School located at 600 E. Second St.

Evergreen

The Evergreen School District 50 is requesting a $295,000 general fund levy to help pay for day-to-day operations. The district has cited needs in food services, classrooms, salaries and benefits for staff, technology and its school resource officer. The district hasn’t passed a general fund levy since 2005. It hasn’t asked for a levy or bond in that timeframe.

The estimated tax impact on an assessed $200,000 home would be $50.32 per year.

The polling location at 18 W. Evergreen Dr. will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 7.

West Valley School

West Valley School, which has experienced rapid growth in recent years, is floating a $200,000 general fund levy, which would increase taxes on a $200,000 home by $53.78 annually.

Ballots were mailed out April 19 and are due back to the school by 8 p.m. on May 7.

Marion

The Marion school district has put forth two levy requests: a $112,000 general fund levy and a $90,250 technology levy. The operational levy would increase taxes on a $200,000 home by $43.90 per year, while the tech levy would increase taxes by $35.37 on the same priced home.

The district was initially planning to hold an all-mail election but missed the deadline and will now be holding a walk-in election at the Marion fire hall across from the school. Polls are open from noon to 8 p.m. on May 7.

Helena Flats

Helena Flats School is floating a $65,000 general fund levy, which has an estimated tax impact of $54 more per year on a $200,000 home. Ballots were sent out last week and are due back to the school by 8 p.m. on May 7.

news@flatheadbeacon.com