No new taxes coming out of school district

By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter

This year the Conrad School District has elected not to run an annual school election.  The reasons for not running an election vary.

To start with the two trustee positions up for election have been filed for by incumbents Carol Jones and Jill Johnson.

They are both running unopposed, Jones for the one year position and Johnson for the three year position.  With no write-in candidates announced they will be appointed through acclamation of the board.

The school district has also elected not to run a levy election this year.

School districts must stay between a base operating budget and a maximum operating budget.  The Conrad School Districts revenue is close enough to the maximum budget in both districts to enable the district to reach the maximum by using excess reserve funds instead of running a levy.

The excess reserve fund consists of monies collected through protested taxes.  Not running an election will actually save money that it would take to put on the election.

Another issue in the school district and in the state is the increasing rates of insurance premiums.  The Conrad School District is looking at steep increases for the school faculty.

Conrad Superintendent Lynn Utterback commented, “At this time we do not see any staff position cuts coming to help pay for the increases.”

The school district has prepared themselves for the increases over the last few years with employee retirements and both classified and certified position consolidations.

The good news for the community is that they are unlikely to see an increase in their school taxes for this year.  With the recession finally impacting Montana in the last year no new taxes sounds like just what the doctor ordered.