Firth seeks levy approval

FIRTH — Because of the reduced funds from the state, the Firth School District trustees are asking electors to approve a supplemental levy for $300,000 each of the next two years.
These funds are necessary to meet the increased requirements from the state and to continue to provide academic excellence and meets the needs of students, Superintendent Sid Tubbs said.
Since 2009, the amount of money the district has received from the state has decreased by 16.42 percent. In two years, the actual dollar amount the Firth School District received from the state is $729,540 less than it received in 2009.
Should the levy pass, funds will be used to maintain certified and classified staff.
"We know the importance of having good quality staff members," Tubbs said.
Funds will be used for supplies and new technology requirements. Funds will also be used to maintain and replace the two computer labs that are down—one in the elementary school; the other in the middle school.
"Over the past two years, we have trimmed a lot of stuff," Tubbs said.
Some of these trimmed items include athletics in the middle school and mid-day kindergarten transportation. There are increased student fees for student activities.
This supplemental levy would cost $178.41 per year or $14.86 each month for a person whose property is valued at $100,000.
If a person’s property is valued at $200,000, the taxes on the property would cost $356.82 per year or $29.73 each month.
Taxes are assessed on a specific number of mills. A mill is a monetary unit equal to one thousandth of a U.S. dollar. In the Firth School District, one mill equals $0.00178.
The cost of this proposed $300,000 per year supplemental levy would by the taxable evaluation of a person’s property multiplied by $0.00178.  
Should the levy not pass, school district officials are looking at a whole number of things, Tubbs said. These might include three fewer teachers, four fewer classified staff positions (secretaries, aides, bus drivers and/or cooks), and fewer supplies, technology and textbooks.
"We don't want to lose anyone," Tubb said. "We don't want to lose programs."
Polling places for the supplemental levy will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17.
Electors will vote in their regular voting precincts.
Absentee balloting is available at the Bingham County Clerk's office in the courthouse until 5 p.m. Friday.
An absentee ballot also can be requested by mail from the county clerk's office or the county clerk's office can be contacted at 782-3164 to set up a time for homebound voting.