Voters Say No to Extending FPS Taxation Authority - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Voters Say No to Extending FPS Taxation Authority

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Voters have rejected a measure which would have extended the authority of Fargo Public Schools to raise taxes in the form of a heightened mill levy cap.

Unofficial results provided by the Cass County Commission show a total of 6,080 ballots cast, with 2,594 "yes" votes supporting the increase and 3,486 "no" votes against it - a difference of 892 votes. or 42.7% against 57.3%

YES 2,594 42.7%

NO 3,486 57.3%


TOTAL 6,080

The Fargo School District currently taxes at a level of 139 mills. Had the vote passed, the cap would have increased the cap to 150 mills.

Speaking to Valley News Live by phone, board president Dinah Goldenberg said the outcome will impact budget talks for the 2014-2015 school year, which the board will begin shortly.

Election law allows the school district to hold another election by 2015, a decision Goldberg says the board has not yet made.


  Total Yes No
Atonement Lutheran Church            802        293        509
Clara Barton Elementary            558        319        239
FargoDome            586        246        340
Kennedy Elementary            460        250        210
Lincoln Elementary            413        176        237
Madison Elementary            101          30          71
McKinley Elementary            595        278        317
Roosevelt Elementary            406        219        187
South High            730        298        432
Early Voting         1,270        447        823
Absentee            159          38        121


So far since Tuesday March 11, 2014 at 6:15 p.m. about 4000 voters turned out for the Fargo Public Schools Special Election. In last week's early voting 1261 ballots were cast and 183 absentee ballots were cast as well. 

Valley News Live went to several voting locations and spoke with voters. One voter told VNL Report that she wished the ballot would have just been on the June primary.

"Just one visit would have been easier than trying to find another ride," said Fargo resident Janet Miller.

Getting rides to the polling locations were not the only issues faced by voters today.


Some voters face problems today at the polls involving changes to North Dakotas voter id law. Earlier this year, the law was changed requiring voters to have a valid North Dakota id before you vote. In the past, you did not id and only needed to fill out paperwork stating you current address.

"the legislature took that affidavit process out of the law, which leaves us with you have to have a valid id showing where you live and reside, that is what we use for voting," said Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir.

Valley News Live heard of at least one voter being turned away for attempting to us a passport. A passport is no longer valid because it is not considered a state form of id.

The voter education campaign kicks off on Monday March 17, 2014, but unfortunately that is a little late for the special election.  


The Fargo Public School Special Election is on Tuesday March 11. 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. Currently Fargo Public Schools is spending 139 mills, which is 69 mills over the state cap.

A mill is a measurement of property worth, and the mill levy is the tax. One mill for a $100,000 home is worth about $4.50. Currently the school district taxes you at the mill rate of 139 mills, that gives them a total of $161 million dollars each year. About $40 million come from property tax. Fargo Public Schools says that is what is needed to operate the district.

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. There are 9 locations to cast your ballot.

Polling Places

  • Lincoln Elementary School 
  • Clara Barton Elementary School 
  • Kennedy Elementary School  
  • South High School 
  • Madison Elementary School 
  • McKinley Elementary School 
  • Roosevelt Elementary School 
  • Atonement Lutheran Church
  • The Fargodome


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