Fargo Public Schools Special Election Just a Week Away - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Public Schools Special Election Just a Week Away

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Fargo is just one week away from a special election to determine whether the Fargo School District has the authority to raise property taxes. North Dakota law mandates the election every ten years to give voters a chance to review their school board's authority to raise levies above the state-mandated cap of 70 mills.

A "yes" vote will allow the school district to levy up to 150 mills, while a "no" vote would freeze millage at the current level.

Proponents say a "yes" vote is essential for the district, and a vote "no" could be devastating.

"If you vote no, it means a difficult situation for the school district," Bruce Furness, treasurer for "Vote Yes for Fargo Schools," told Valley News Live. "Revenues would be locked in and frozen for a long time."

Some community members oppose the vote, and retired citizen Larry Gauper says he doesn't know if he can fully trust the district's authority.

"Right now, I don't feel they deserve the flexibility they have in the past," Gauper commented, "[and] one of the reasons is, the 45-million-dollar Davies High School was built without a vote."

Holding the March 11 special election will cost taxpayers $19,000, an expense some supporters defend, saying it makes things easier for voters.

"School board issues are always the last on the ballot," Furness adds. "When you have a regular election, people become tired by the time they get to the last ballot. Sometimes they don't even vote for some of those issues, so, they felt it would be a hindrance to have that issue be the last item on the ballot."

Early voting begins Wednesday, March 5 and goes until March 7.

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