Des Moines School Board Votes Tuesday on Whether to Add Item to November Ballot

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Board of Directors for the Des Moines Public School District will vote Tuesday on adding an item on to the November ballot.

If passed, voters will be able to increase the ‘Physical Plant and Equipment Property Tax.

Des Moines Public Schools said increasing the PPEL would generate a long-term revenue source for student technology in the district.

DMPS Communications Director Phil Roeder said, “Why that helps is that means it is that much less money that we would have to spend from our general fund. The general fund is what pays for teachers, principals, counselors and pays for the majority of what actually goes into education.”

If passed, it would free up $6.5 million for the district to use towards student technology and other items in PPEL.

“It would put us on the same level as every surrounding school district is at. Most school districts in Iowa have already had a voter-approved PPEL increase that takes it to the maximum amount it could be. Des Moines has not done that yet. So, we basically just want to try and get on the same footing as our neighboring districts are at on this,” Roeder said.

In addition, the PPEL pays for maintenance to buildings, infrastructure, equipment like school buses and more.

Des Moines Education Association Principal Joshua Brown said, if passed, increasing the PPEL will not increase property taxes for Des Moines residents, it will simply reallocate money already in the PPEL.

“They are going to be trying to move to reduce the general fund levy and reduce the management levy to increase the pebble levy, which will allow us to move some funds that we use for technology from the general fund into the PPEL fund,” Brown said.

If passed, the PPEL would not exceed $1.34 per $1,000.

The board meets Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. to vote on adding the item to the November ballot. The meeting is open to the public and is located in the multipurpose room in Central Campus.

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