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Physical Plant and Equipment Levy Renewal Vote
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Learn how this renewal will impact both taxpayers and students.

Lewis Central Community School District voters will be asked to consider the renewal of the voter-approved Physical Plant and Equipment Levy at $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The 10-year voter-approved levy has been in place in the Lewis Central Community School District since 2004 at $0.50 per $1,000 of valuation. The current voter-approved levy expires in June 2023. The question on the ballot is asking voters if they would support extending and increasing the voter-approved levy from $0.50 to $1.00 for 10 years commencing July 1, 2023.

“Our communities' continued support of the voter-approved Physical Plant and Equipment Levy is vital in Lewis Central’s efforts to inspire excellence through student academic and extracurricular activities,” said Dr. Brenton Hoesing, Ed.D., Superintendent. “The PPEL provides the funding needed to adapt, renovate, and maintain facilities, fund busing, and support technology for students and teachers.”

The PPEL primarily provides school districts with the means to maintain buildings and grounds, update district transportation, and complete remodeling and capital improvement projects. Single pieces of equipment greater than $500 can also be purchased through PPEL. The fund would raise roughly $1.63 million per year - more than $16M over 10 years. 

How will this impact my taxes? 

The District’s current levy is $10.23 per $1,000, down from $12.77 per $1,000 in 2015. The current levy includes a $0.50 voted PPEL that will drop off in 2023. A renewal of the level adds 10 years onto the timeline of the voted PPEL and increases it to $1.00 per $1,000 of valuation. However, due to the state’s adjusted funding formula and the expiration of the 20-year General Obligation Bond for the construction of the High School, approval of the $1.00 levy will likely have less than a $0.30 total increase to our tax base ($10.23 to $10.53). A home with a $200,000 taxable valuation will see less than a $60 increase per year on their taxes, less than $5 per month. 

What can this money fund?  

This levy is for infrastructure needs only and cannot be used to pay salaries or purchase equipment with a value less than $500. Possible uses include but are not limited to: 

ADA Upgrades | Air Conditioning of Schools | Athletic Facility Improvements | Security Improvements | Asbestos Abatement | New Busses & School Vehicles | Classroom Remodels | Computer Replacement | Gym Floor Maintenance & Replacement | Electrical Improvements | HVAC Repair & Replacement | Intercom/Emergency Systems | Energy Efficient Lighting | Parking Lot & Sidewalk Maintenance | Playground Repair & Replacement | Plumbing Maintenance | Roof Replacements | Security Cameras | Technology Infrastructure | School Vehicles | Window Replacement | Building Additions (Early Childhood)

Approval will allow the district to not only maintain facilities, but also maintain and improve technology infrastructure and equipment, as well as upgrade playgrounds and athletic facilities. If residents don’t approve the voter-approved PPEL, the current $0.50 levy expires and projects using the voted PPEL funds stop, which will almost entirely eliminate our ability to perform needed upgrades to facilities and transportation. 

The requested increase from $0.50 to $1.00 is due to the increased cost of maintenance and upgrades needed throughout the district. Many districts carry up to a $1.34 PPEL levy (the max) to help them maintain and update their facilities. Our newest school building is over 20 years old and all of our buildings need regular maintenance and repairs to provide a safe and inspiring educational environment. 

Voters may request an absentee ballot by visiting the Pottawattamie County Auditor’s website at Requests are due August 29 at 5:00pm. Lewis Central Community School District Residents are able to vote in person 7 am to 8 pm on Tuesday, September 13th at Salem Methodist Church, 14995 Somerset Ave, Council Bluffs, IA 51503.

PPEL use is specifically restricted by state code to:

  • Purchase of buildings

  • Purchase and improvement of grounds

  • Construction of schoolhouses or buildings

  • Opening roads to schoolhouses or buildings

  • Purchase, lease or lease-purchase of technology and equipment

  • Payment of debts contracted for the erection of schoolhouses or buildings, not including interest on bonds

  • Procuring or acquisition of libraries

  • Repairing, remodeling, reconstructing, improving, or expanding the schoolhouses, or buildings and additions to existing schoolhouses

  • Expenditures for energy conservation

  • Rental of facilities under Chapter 28E

  • Purchase of transportation equipment for transporting students

  • Lease purchase option agreements for school buildings and or equipment

  • Equipment purchases authorized by the laws of the State of Iowa; i.e. technology

  • Any purpose or purposes now or hereafter authorized by law

How is PPEL different from other Funds?

  • All Fund uses are restricted by Iowa Code

    • Local Option Sales Tax: major building renovations

    • General Fund: salaries, curriculum, instruction

    • Management Fund: insurance, early retirements, unemployment

    • School Nutrition Fund: school lunch programs

    • Student Activity Fund: co-curricular programming

  • Certain PPEL expenses cannot be paid from other funds

  • Funds from the PPEL levy may NOT be used for employee salaries, curriculum, or instruction costs

Resolution Question



YES [ ]

NO [ ]

Shall the Board of Directors of the Lewis Central Community School District in the County of Pottawattamie, State of Iowa, be authorized for a period of ten (10) years, to levy annually, as determined by the Board, a voter-approved physical plant and equipment property tax not to exceed one dollar ($1.00) per one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property within the school district commencing with the levy for collection in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023, to be used for the purposes permitted by Iowa law?

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