On May 28, 2020, the Peoria Unified Governing Board voted to adopt a resolution ordering and authorizing all matters necessary for a 13 percent maintenance and operations (M&O) budget override continuation election. They also voted to adopt a resolution ordering and authorizing all matters necessary for a $125,255,000 bond election. Both initiatives will be on the November 3, 2020 ballot.
If approved, the M&O override continuation would continue to provide $28 million dollars of additional funding each year to fund health care professionals, physical education, arts education, music, chorus and assistant principals on district campuses.
Without an M&O override in place, the district would lose funds that supports people and programs. All staff would see a compensation decrease, the district could no longer maintain health care professionals and assistant principals on all district campuses, putting the district in a safety deficit. In addition, class sizes would increase and the ability to offer programs such as arts, music, physical education and gifted education programs would be threatened. There would also be a charge for full-day Kindergarten. Fees related to athletic and extracurricular activities would also significantly increase and these programs would be reduced.
The maintenance and operations override is funded from a levy of ad valorem taxes on all taxable property (limited assessed valuation) within the Peoria Unified School District, (which is different from the value listed on Zillow or Redfin.) If approved, the override will result in an estimated average annual tax rate of $1.4486 per $100 of limited assessed valuation for residential property owners.
Peoria Unified has been grateful for community support for the past 24 years. District voters first approved a 10 percent override in 1996 and renewed it again in 2001, 2006 and 2010. In 2015, the community approved a 13 percent M&O override. The authorization lasts for seven years. If the override initiative fails, the additional M&O annual funding from the override will begin to phase out in FY 2022 and will be fully eliminated over three years.
If the critical needs bond is successful, the funds will be used for elementary priority upgrades and repairs, high school priority upgrades and repairs, district facility priority upgrades and repairs, safety capital projects, technology, student transportation vehicles and a land purchase for a future high school. The tax rate associated with the district’s existing bond sales and the new $125,255,000 bond authorization would be $1.4781 per $100 of limited assessed valuation for a residential homeowner in the district.
The deadline for submitting arguments with respect to the election is 5 p.m. on Aug. 7, 2020. To view information about the district’s financial stability, click here.