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Guest Editorial: A request for votes

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Dear Big Sky Community,

It is election season and this year the school district has two levies on the ballot for voter consideration. We are excited about the possibilities that both levies bring to the district.

First, we are asking voters to approve a general fund levy in the amount of $40,000. In Montana, a school district has the ability to ask voters to approve a local levy in order to operate at 100 percent of the allotted budget calculated by the state. These dollars will be used specifically for expenses related to teacher and staff salaries. For a property valued at $1 million, for example, the property tax increase to a homeowner comes to $18.80 per year.

Additionally, the district is excited to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Gallatin Valley to construct teacher and staff housing on our property. The partnership will allow the district to construct stable, predictable rental units for some BSSD staff.

Habitat for Humanity’s methods allow the district to construct the units on district property for approximately $135 per square foot, which is significantly less than the current rate in Big Sky. The district is seeking approval of a Building Reserve Levy in the amount of $600,000 over five years. This levied amount will be used to complete all infrastructure for the two triplexes as well as the physical structure for one of the triplexes. For a property valued at $1 million, the property tax increase to a homeowner comes to $56.40 per year.

The BSSD board is, as always, grateful for the support the community shows for the school through positive election results. Should you have further questions or need additional information regarding the school levies this election cycle, please reach out to Superintendent Dustin Shipman at dshipman@bssd72.org or make plans to attend one of the following informational meetings jointly held by the district and Habitat for Humanity:

April 24, 6-7:30 p.m. in the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center

May 1, 6-7:30 p.m. in the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center

-Big Sky School District Board of Trustees

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