ICCSD planning to re-issue Instructional Support Levy

Combined property tax and income surtax supports general per-student spending
KCJJ Staff

The Iowa City Community School District plans to re-up its use of the Instructional Support Levy.

The board will discuss any changes it wants to make to the language of the resolution of intent to issue the levy at its meeting Tuesday after giving vocal agreement to moving forward with the tax at its last meeting.

The ISL is a way for school districts to supplement their per-student spending, either through property taxes or an income surtax. The funds collected go into the general fund and can be used for any general fund purpose.

District chief financial officer Craig Hansel told the board at its last meeting if the board approves the ISL, it would last for five years.

“There is a reverse-referendum component to this,” Hansel said. “And if the board makes a decision and the community says, ‘No, we’d rather vote on it,’ they can petition the board, come back, and we’d have to take it out for a vote. And then that could be for a ten-year period.

“But this district has chosen to do the board-approved (method). It’s been well-received by the community over the last several cycles.”

Hansel says the ICCSD’s ISL – which most recently was split between an eight-percent property tax and a five-percent income surtax – produced a little under $8 million per year. The board has the authority to set the tax rates at up to 10 percent.

The current ISL is set to expire on June 30, 2020.

The board plans to adopt a resolution of intent at its February 26 meeting with certification possible – barring the public forcing an election – on April 24.

All but three school districts in the state use some form of the tax levy.