Saving Money For Taxpayers

Give Hancock County Board of Education members credit for trusting voters rather than employing sly tricks to gain renewal of a big tax levy.

Standard practice in some counties is to schedule special elections for school levy questions. The theory is that with no other reason to go to the polls, those in favor of the measures are more likely than opponents to turn out and vote.

But special elections can be costly.

Hancock County school board members chose to put renewal of their levy on the general election ballot, rather than hold a special election. Voters had a record of approving the measure for about 70 years, and officials trusted they would do so again, if presented with a persuasive case in favor of the $7 million-a-year levy.

They were right. Slightly more than 60 percent of Hancock County voters said yes to the levy.

Funds not spent on a special election now can be used to benefit students. We suspect voters will remember than in five years, when the levy is up for renewal again.