1st Engrossment - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
A bill for an act
relating to education finance; modifying the referendum ballot language in cases
of renewal of referendum authority; amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, section
126C.17, subdivision 9.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 126C.17, subdivision 9, is amended to read:
(a) The revenue authorized by section 126C.10,
subdivision 1, may be increased in the amount approved by the voters of the district at a
referendum called for the purpose. The referendum may be called by the board or shall be
called by the board upon written petition of qualified voters of the district. The referendum
must be conducted one or two calendar years before the increased levy authority, if
approved, first becomes payable. Only one election to approve an increase may be held
in a calendar year. Unless the referendum is conducted by mail under paragraph (g), the
referendum must be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The
ballot must state the maximum amount of the increased revenue per resident marginal cost
pupil unit. The ballot may state a schedule, determined by the board, of increased revenue
per resident marginal cost pupil unit that differs from year to year over the number of
years for which the increased revenue is authorized or may state that the amount shall
increase annually by the rate of inflation. For this purpose, the rate of inflation shall be the
annual inflationary increase calculated under subdivision 2, paragraph (b). The ballot may
state that existing referendum levy authority is expiring. In this case, the ballot may also
compare the proposed levy authority to the existing expiring levy authority, and express
the proposed increase as the amount, if any, over the expiring referendum levy authority.
The ballot must designate the specific number of years, not to exceed ten, for which the
referendum authorization applies. The ballot, including a ballot on the question to revoke
or reduce the increased revenue amount under paragraph (c), must abbreviate the term
"per resident marginal cost pupil unit" as "per pupil." The notice required under section
275.60 may be modified to read, in cases of renewing existing levies:
"BY VOTING "YES" ON THIS BALLOT QUESTION, YOU deleted text beginMAY BE VOTING
FOR A PROPERTY TAX INCREASEdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end."
The ballot may contain a textual portion with the information required in this
subdivision and a question stating substantially the following:
"Shall the increase in the revenue proposed by (petition to) the board of .........,
School District No. .., be approved?"
If approved, an amount equal to the approved revenue per resident marginal cost
pupil unit times the resident marginal cost pupil units for the school year beginning in
the year after the levy is certified shall be authorized for certification for the number of
years approved, if applicable, or until revoked or reduced by the voters of the district at a
(b) The board must prepare and deliver by first class mail at least 15 days but no more
than 30 days before the day of the referendum to each taxpayer a notice of the referendum
and the proposed revenue increase. The board need not mail more than one notice to any
taxpayer. For the purpose of giving mailed notice under this subdivision, owners must be
those shown to be owners on the records of the county auditor or, in any county where
tax statements are mailed by the county treasurer, on the records of the county treasurer.
Every property owner whose name does not appear on the records of the county auditor
or the county treasurer is deemed to have waived this mailed notice unless the owner
has requested in writing that the county auditor or county treasurer, as the case may be,
include the name on the records for this purpose. The notice must project the anticipated
amount of tax increase in annual dollars for typical residential homesteads, agricultural
homesteads, apartments, and commercial-industrial property within the school district.
The notice for a referendum may state that an existing referendum levy is expiring
and project the anticipated amount of increase over the existing referendum levy in
the first year, if any, in annual dollars for typical residential homesteads, agricultural
homesteads, apartments, and commercial-industrial property within the district.
The notice must include the following statement: "Passage of this referendum will
result in an increase in your property taxes." However, in cases of renewing existing
levies, the notice may include the following statement: "Passage of this referendum may
result in deleted text beginan increasedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end in your property taxes."
(c) A referendum on the question of revoking or reducing the increased revenue
amount authorized pursuant to paragraph (a) may be called by the board and shall be called
by the board upon the written petition of qualified voters of the district. A referendum to
revoke or reduce the revenue amount must state the amount per resident marginal cost
pupil unit by which the authority is to be reduced. Revenue authority approved by the
voters of the district pursuant to paragraph (a) must be available to the school district at
least once before it is subject to a referendum on its revocation or reduction for subsequent
years. Only one revocation or reduction referendum may be held to revoke or reduce
referendum revenue for any specific year and for years thereafter.
(d) A petition authorized by paragraph (a) or (c) is effective if signed by a number of
qualified voters in excess of 15 percent of the registered voters of the district on the day
the petition is filed with the board. A referendum invoked by petition must be held on the
date specified in paragraph (a).
(e) The approval of 50 percent plus one of those voting on the question is required to
pass a referendum authorized by this subdivision.
(f) At least 15 days before the day of the referendum, the district must submit a
copy of the notice required under paragraph (b) to the commissioner and to the county
auditor of each county in which the district is located. Within 15 days after the results
of the referendum have been certified by the board, or in the case of a recount, the
certification of the results of the recount by the canvassing board, the district must notify
the commissioner of the results of the referendum.
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