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Two local school districts are running supplemental levies in Tuesday’s election, both of which have previously failed at the polls.

The West Ada School District is asking for $14 million each year for the next two years, and the Middleton School district is requesting $1.5 million per year for the next two years.

West Ada voters had approved the supplemental levy four times since 2012, but the May ballot measure received 46% support, shy of the simple majority needed.

“I can see there might be some angst about it,” Ed Klopfenstein, chairman of the West Ada board of trustees, told the Meridian Press in June. “The challenge, though, is … we’re talking about cutting to the bone. If there is a possibility that voters might be able to give us another look and be able to support the case in this next round in August, I think it’s worth a try.”

Middleton’s levy failed with 44% and 48% support in the March and May elections, respectively.

West Ada and Middleton officials have said their districts will have to dip into savings to account for the state holdback and failed levies. If the August levy ballot measures are successful, they’ll provide some relief for those districts.

Middleton earlier this year cut one day of school per week and instituted pay-to-play fees for middle and high sports.

“Our hands are tied by the state in certain areas with the holdbacks,” Middleton trustee Derek Moore said in a July news release. “Even if we have the levy, we are still cutting costs. The levy helps us survive.”

For voters, the West Ada levy would cost $52.60 per $100,000 in taxable property value, and the Middleton levy would cost $94 per $100,000 in taxable property value.

The Middleton levy would replace an existing levy that costs $82 per $100,000 in taxable property value, resulting in a net increase of $12 per $100,000 in taxable property value.

The West Ada levy proposal is the same as its existing levy, resulting in no change to the cost per $100,000.

A supplemental levy can be used for any expenditure that is allowable under Idaho Code. Most school districts in Idaho use supplemental levy revenue for operational costs, such as salaries and benefits. For West Ada, salaries and benefits account for 85% of the district’s general fund. The supplemental levy accounts for 5% of the district’s general fund.

HOW TO VOTE

Election day is Tuesday. Both Ada and Canyon counties will host polling locations on Election Day as well as accepting absentee ballots through 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto reminded voters in an email to the Idaho Press that the county will be taking extra safety precautions at polling places, which could lead to longer lines and wait times.

Voters can expect to be waiting outside in line until voting machines are open for them to proceed inside to the precincts to vote, said Canyon County Elections Supervisor Haley Hicks. The county does not want people waiting inside and wants to give poll workers time to disinfect the voting machines before another voter comes to use it.

The county also encouraged voters to wear a mask or face covering if they are voting in person.

Canyon County will have five polling locations:

  • Notus Community Center, 389 First St., Notus
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 23644 Old Highway 30, Caldwell
  • Middleton Community Center, 113 W. Main St., Middleton
  • Edmark Toyota, 15933 N. Idaho Center Blvd., Nampa
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 22500 Lansing Lane, Middleton

Seventy-six of Ada County’s 151 voting precincts will participate in the August election.

To find your polling place, visit idahovotes.gov.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot in both counties was Aug. 14. Early voting in both counties ended Friday.

Ryan Suppe is the Meridian reporter for the Idaho Press. Contact him at 208-465-8119. Follow him on Twitter @salsuppe.

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