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Continued: West metro schools referendum roundup

  • Article by: BEN JOHNSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 27, 2013 - 1:46 PM

Lester Prairie

Lester Prairie is proposing to renew its existing property tax referendum at $351.76 per pupil. The current referendum expires after 2013. The referendum request would add $137.95 annually to the property tax bill for an owner of a $200,000 home, according to the district.


Orono is asking residents to revoke referendums passed in 2004 and 2006 and replace them with a new levy that would raise the amount of revenue per pupil by $400, from $1,461.71 to $1,861.71.

According to the district, the increase would represent a tax increase of approximately $15 per month for an owner of a $450,000 home. The additional revenue would help protect the district’s recent program enhancements in world languages, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and guidance services, as well as to maintain reasonable class sizes.


Osseo is proposing to replace its current operating levy and to create a new capital projects levy. The capital projects levy would raise approximately $5 million per year for 10 years to address technology deficiencies at all of the district’s schools. A comprehensive look at that proposal is available at

The district also wants to replace an operating levy approved in 2007 that raises $33 million per year. The new levy would raise $42 million per year. According to the district, that increase would raise property taxes about $7 per month for an owner of a $192,000 home.


After successfully persuading voters to renew and increase its operating levy last year, the Richfield district is returning to the polls in an attempt to renew and increase its capital project levy.

The first question will ask voters to renew its capital project levy, which raises $1.3 million annually, although that number fluctuates because it is tied to property values. The second question proposes to increase the levy by an additional $915,000 per year.

St. Louis Park

Three questions will be on the ballot. The first proposes to revoke a capital project levy that has raised $1.1 million annually for technology upgrades during the last 15 years, and to replace it with a new levy that would raise $1.75 million annually over the next 10 years, starting in 2014.

The next question asks about a $14.9 million one-time bond issue that would be paid back over the next nine years. The bond money would be used to build three new classrooms at Aquila and Susan Lindgren elementary schools, and three new classrooms and a new cafeteria at Peter Hobart Elementary. The money also would cover deferred maintenance at every school in the district, as well as at city community centers.

The last question proposes a new operating levy for the district, which would bring St. Louis Park schools $1.1 million annually over the next 10 years.


Ben Johnson • 612-673-4499

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