By: Juliana Allen

Eden Prairie voters will be asked to approve two tax levies when they go to the polls Nov. 8.

About 71% of funding for Eden Prairie Schools (EPS) comes from the State of Minnesota. Twenty-two percent comes from local property taxes, 4% from federal government grants, and 3% from local sources. Districts have the option to ask taxpayers for additional funds through levy referendums.

When you head to the polls, you’ll see a two-question referendum on the ballot.

Question 1 asks to revoke the current operating levy (which pays for learning and programs) of $1,815.27 per student and replace it with a levy of $2,075.27. The current operating levy was approved in 2014, and was only intended to last until 2019.

The district says this change translates to under $8 per month in increased taxes for an Eden Prairie home valued at $430,000.

Question 2 asks to renew the existing capital project levy (which pays for technology, teacher training, security, and infrastructure) with no funding increase from when it was approved in 2013. There are no additional taxes associated with this question. 

Both existing levies expire when the 2024-25 school year ends. If the new levies are not approved, EPS expects a financial shortfall. This could force cuts to staff and programs for the first time in eight years. 

If the new levies are approved, EPS expects financial stability for at least five years. 

Before you vote, consider: What is your position on the funding of public schools? Are you willing to pay increased taxes to help increase funding for schools? Do you think the current school board and administration are appropriately spending the money they have now? Do quality schools have a positive effect on my property value, quality of life, and Eden Prairie’s economy?

Learn more about the referendum on the Eden Prairie Schools’ website.