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Questions and Answers

Will my county and city taxes increase? 

The taxes levied on taxpayers in the Newton Municipal School District will be affected.  Homeowners over 65 or totally disabled are exempt from taxes on the taxable value of their house up to $75,000.  

How much is 15 mills in taxes? 

In calculating the anticipated tax impact of the proposed Newton Municipal School District bond, some individuals are overstating the anticipated cost to taxpayers by confusing the “true value” of property with the “assessed value” of the property. The County sets the true value of all types of taxable property in the District each year. By State law, each type of property is then assessed at a certain percentage of the property’s true value. Owner-occupied houses are assessed at 10% of their true value.
Example: An owner-occupied house with a true value of $100,000 would have an assessed value of $10,000 ($100,000 X 10%). The tax mills are levied on the assessed value, NOT the true value of property. A tax mill is equal to $1 per $1,000 (.001%) of a property’s assessed value (NOT THE TRUE VALUE). A 15 mill tax on an owner-occupied house on the tax roll for $100,000 (with an assessed value of $10,000) would be $150 per year ( $10,000 X .015) (NOT $1,500 PER YEAR). Other types of taxable property are assessed at different percentages, but in every case, the mills are levied on the assessed value, not the true value of the property.

How much of this 11 million is being spent on classrooms and how much is being spent on the gym?

Newton Elementary School - $7,810,000 (71%); Newton High School Gymnasium - $3,190,000 (29%)

Is this a general obligation bond? 

Yes.  It is an obligation bond.  A general obligation bond is a bond that has the full faith and credit of the Newton Municipal School District.  This authority is given to the District by the voters within the School District boundaries.  If the proposition passes, the voters give the District the authority to levy a millage sufficient to pay the annual debt service payment.  This amount is estimated to be 15 mills.

Why is the school board asking for this money?  

While the school district has currently been renovating buildings throughout the district using ESSER funds and grant monies, most of the proposed renovations on the gymnasium and elementary school are not eligible for these federal monies.  Furthermore, the ESSER funds and other grant monies were not sufficient to pay the costs of the deferred maintenance needs that have increased significantly over the years.  

Didn't the school district receive ESSER funds for building renovations?

We completed and are continuing many necessary renovations to Newton Elementary, N. H. Pilate, and Newton High School with ESSER II and ESSER III funds. However, most of the types of renovations that our elementary school and gym require cannot be paid for with these monies due to stipulations placed on those funds by federal and state agencies. 

Who determined the amount of funding needed for the elementary school and gymnasium projects? 

Our architect, Dale/Bailey, created a blueprint and cost estimates for the renovations of the elementary school and the high school gym. 

If the bond issue passes, how long will I be paying this extra 15 mills?

Approximately 20 years.  As the value of a mill increases over the term of the bonds, the number of mills required for bond payments should decrease.  

Will this apply to only taxpayers within the city limits of Newton?

All qualified voters residing in the Newton Municipal School District may vote in the bond election.  The election is not limited to those qualified voters residing within the city limits of Newton.  The tax to repay the bonds will be levied on all taxpayers residing within the Newton Municipal School District. 

Why is this the right time to ask for a bond?  What information did the Board of Trustees consider in making this decision?

Currently, our elementary students are exposed to the elements.  In addition to getting wet and cold from simply coming into the building or going to the cafeteria, students' safety can be compromised because of corridors and walkways that are not enclosed.  When looking at the gymnasium, the school board has reviewed issues with leaks that have damaged the gym floor, the need for additional seating, renovated concession areas, and the addition of better handicap access.  There is also a need to accommodate the volleyball equipment.  While some of these renovations could be completed as separate smaller projects, this would not be cost-effective.  Continuing to make small repairs, as the operating budget allows, is only creating temporary solutions that will eventually lead to even more costly repairs in the near future.  Using school district operating funds to make these repairs decreases the funds available for providing academic education for our students. 

If I don't have children or grandchildren that attend these schools, why should I vote for the bond issue? 

If the bond issue passes, students in our community will be afforded the opportunities to experience modern and safe environments.  Updated facilities also have the potential to attract prospective teachers.  School building upgrades frequently increase school morale and student learning, enhance economic development within the community, and may encourage new businesses to locate within the school district.  

Will any school personnel receive raises with this money?

No.  A bond issue cannot be used to pay for salaries, benefits, supplies, utilities, or other operating costs.  However, if the bond issue does not pass, the district will be forced to choose between expensive temporary facility repairs and hiring additional teachers, teacher raises, and educational materials.  

What do you get per student to give him or her an education? 

Per pupil expenditure for the Newton Municipal School District is as follows:

  • Instruction - $9,896.51
  • All funds - $14,786.44 (This includes instructional and maintenance expenditures.)

For additional information regarding districts' expenditures, please visit

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