Meridian Schools Seeks Continued Tax Hike

In what can only be described as a “stealth election,” Meridian School District is seeking to take away a scheduled tax break for District patrons in a ballot measure set for Tuesday MArch 3.

The District has failed to even post the election on their website or calendar of events. A disgruntled parent contacted the GUARDIAN asking that we make the election known since it is just a week away.

A $10,000,000 supplemental tax levy is set to expire In June. It was a 2 year levy and barring a NEW TAX, residents would get a tax break. However, District board members are seeking to eliminate that scheduled payoff and continue taxing yet another $10,000,000 with voter approval.

The patron–and the GUARDIAN–find the spin from the District to be accurate, but misleading. They are selling the $10,000,000 as “everything remains the same.” That is true, but it is like reaching the payoff date on a car loan and the car salesman saying, “your family budget will remain the same,” just sign here for another $35,000 in debt.

Truth is, if you own a $200,000 house in the District and the levy fails–you SAVE $116 a year in taxes.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. How much is enough? Schools are the sacred cow of public finance in Idaho. How about this offer…
    School districts consolidate and quit calling local control a benifit for taxpayers. Duplication of efforts, administrative positons, offices, and overhead are out of control.

  2. I would love to see an article or research on the growth of administration costs in the meridian school district. If you go to the district web site and click on the organizational chart you get an idea on the intricate layers of bureacracy they have formed just at the district office. Then go to an area high schools web site and look at all the new positions that have formed in the last 25 years in administration. This “industry” continues to grow while the teacher to student ratio continues to widen. These people are executives not educators, but they ask for more money in the name of children.

  3. Jim of Boise
    Feb 23, 2009, 5:08 pm

    My home, if in Meridian would provide less than $60 per year. Not much to pay for our grandchildens education and schooling. My golly, you believe all this happens free, or maybe you believe in lets be a freeloader as many Idahoans are and let someone else educate Idaho children.

    EDITOR NOTE–Jim, we take no position on the Meridian supplemental levy. We ARE concerned with the one-sided stealth election. They don’t post it on their own web or provide the facts in a clear manner, opting instead to claim “no new taxes.” Of course it is a new tax replacing one that is about to expire. We just ask them to play fair. We would be thrilled to death of they had a 15% turnout.
    My guess is the turnout will be pathetic, but it will pass overwhelmingly.

  4. It isn’t really neccesary to take a side in this debate. The atrocity here is the District, headed by Linda Clark, effort to sneak this through. Wasn’t there rheteric in the last bond campaign about how it was no big deal since this levey was about to drop off? Why isn’t this on the district website? They pay a media guy to run public relations, why isn’t his job being done? What effort has been made to publicize this chance for the voters to excercise thier rights? Sound the alarm, wake the neighbors, there is something stinky happening in eridian School District.

  5. Anybody who believes there is such a thing as a “temporary” tax is either an idiot or has been asleep for the 40 or 50 (or more) years.
    School districts do this over and over — get a new tax approved by promising that it will expire after so many years, and, when that time comes, immediately seeking approval for a new debt that will cost the same or more. And when that one expires … yep, you guessed it.

    Also interesting that the schools constantly complaint that charter schools private schools, drop-outs etc. are cutting into their school population, and yet keep asking for more money to build and/or enlarge schools. Seems there’s something wrong with their math, too.

  6. Everyone, let’s give it up for the Guardian!

    I nominate the Guardian for the “Let Freedom Ring” Citizen of the year.

  7. Meridian Parent
    Feb 26, 2009, 2:59 pm

    While I agree that the tactics aren’t necessarily appropriate, I’m having a hard time voting this down. My kids’ school has no budget for extras, like copies of homework, or special projects.

    I agree with gman12 that there is too much administration and not enough for education.

    EDITOR NOTE–For the record, we don’t have a position on the levy. Our only concern is to inform the voters and let them know taxes will remain the same if they pass it (since the current levy will expire in June) and if the measure fails, taxes should go down by the amount of the old (current) levy.

  8. Dog:


  9. At one of the recent elections here in Eagle people went to their usual polling places to vote. However, there was a separate election for a new fire station that was being held at a fire station. No one knew about it except for friends and relatives of firemen. There was nothing in the paper, as far as I know, and no information was presented at the regular polling places. A few thousand people voted at the regular polling places, a few hundred for the fire station. Naturally there were more than 2/3 of the people who voted in favor and the fire station bond passed. I believe one of the city councilors wanted a fire station in his neighborhood – possibly to lessen his insurance costs. It is not good for democracy when bond elections are fixed to get the outcome desired by just a handful of people.

  10. Mary Callister
    Mar 1, 2009, 9:48 am

    What do you suggest we do proactive as “the public”? We can’t just complain, we must be heard that we want our rights to vote… Any suggestions, without gripping?

  11. I laugh at Paul’s comment that “schools are the sacred cow of Idaho”. Right, Paul. Ok, you may be right if one starves the people who tend that sacred cow ie the teachers and pay them less than the sacred cows tenders in other states. On the other hand, you may not have kids who attend the public schools here in Idaho – does your wife home school them or do they go to private schools? Do you have children who teach in Idaho schools – 5th grade class rooms have 30 students in them which is not the best learning environment for the students who need more attention.
    Oh, I could go on. But I think that the sacred cow of the educational system are those at the top… the administrator – the fat cats sucking up the money.

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