MINNETRISTA — Westonka Public School District voters approved the district’s proposed operating levy referendum on Nov. 5 with 65.24% of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s Office.
"The new operating levy will provide 10 years of stable funding that will allow the district to avoid impactful reductions, stay competitive with our neighbors and accelerate progress in our award-winning schools, all while maintaining the lowest school property taxes in Hennepin County," Superintendent Kevin Borg said in a statement.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, 1,498 people voted yes and 798 people voted no on the levy. The results are unofficial until canvassed.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Westonka School District residents approved a new 10-year operating levy in support of our students. Unofficial election results are as follows: 65.24% Yes (1,498 votes), 34.76% No (798 votes). Thank you to everyone who voted! #ProgressingTogether pic.twitter.com/suxA8xgKlR— Westonka Schools (@thewestonkaedge) November 6, 2019
The referendum will revoke and replace the current three tax levies with one 10-year levy. The levy will add $7.50 a month in property taxes to the average-valued home of $377,000 starting in 2020. Another increase will take place in 2040, adding an additional $6.50 a month to the average-valued home in 2024.
"We are truly honored by the community's trust and continued support of our schools. This would not be possible without the exceptional educational experience provided by Westonka’s teachers, administrators and staff," Borg said in the statement. "I also wish to sincerely thank the parents and community members who work together with our staff to ensure safe, healthy, supportive and welcoming learning environments for all students."
The levy will amount to an increase of $350 per student from 2020-2023 and another $350 increase per student from 2024-2029, Borg told Lakeshore Weekly News ahead of the election.
"The passage of any referendum results in higher community expectations. I know that together we will meet these expectations by continuing to provide the high-quality education that the Westonka community expects and deserves," Borg said in the statement.
The district’s referendum website is westonka.k12.mn.us/Page/1028.