Marshall County voters have a long tradition of supporting public schools well. For decades, educators have been able to count on local residents to approve taxes above and beyond those they are obligated by state law to pay.
Now some taxpayers are asking the county Board of Education to consider their financial well-being. Pointing to a near- $1 billion increase in the taxable value of property in the county during the past two years, they want a bit of a break.
Last spring, after being told of a $335 million increase in the taxable value of property, county Board of Education members left property tax levy rates the same as they had been.
Last fall, in seeking voter approval of an additional levy for public education, school Superintendent Fred Renzella said that if it passed, serious consideration would be given to cutting the regular levy rate. Voters approved the measure last year.
Not long after that, news came of another boost in the taxable value of property. Last week, a delegation of county residents attended the school board meeting to remind members of the tax cut pledge.
Marshall County residents support their schools strongly. If there are out-of-the-ordinary needs such as repairs to schools, they will understand the necessity to provide money for them. But given the tax revenue windfall the school system seems poised to receive, at least some adjustment of the regular levy rate - for a meaningful amount - should be approved by the school board.