School bond and tax elections in Minnesota
- 1 Laws affecting school finance in Minnesota
- 2 Conduct of the bond election, limitations, rules
- 3 Required notice of election
- 4 List of 2009 Minnesota school bond referendums
- 5 Historical election results
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
- To exceed the revenue allowance.
- To reduce or equalize a levy.
- To issue new bonding.
Laws affecting school finance in Minnesota
Minnesota bond issue law
Minnesota law requires a referendum for issuing new bonds that pertains to capital improvements or new construction of facilities. Under Minnesota law, all bond issues related to education are required to be kept separately from municipal bonds. All bonds must mature after 20 years.
Revenue allowance law
The Minnesota Legislature in 1994 approved the Revenue allowance law for public school districts. Under this law, Minnesota school districts are given a maximum allowance on the amount of property tax revenue they can take in. There are three stages in which the revenue allowance is calculated.
Under the law, the referendum allowance is calculated by the sum of a district's referendum allowance for fiscal year 1994 multiplied by 1.177 then multiplied by the annual inflationary increase plus its referendum conversion allowance for fiscal year 2003, minus $215. 
Revenue equalization law
Under Minnesota law, voter approval is required to equalize a levy. The referendum revenue equalization limit which equals the lesser of the district's referendum allowance under or $700.
Conduct of the bond election, limitations, rules
Authority that conducts elections
The County Auditor is responsible for holding elections.
Elections can be held during the normal election cycle in Minnesota which is the first Tuesday in November in each year.  For special elections, a school district cannot hold them 30 days before and the 30 days after the primary election held in September and 30 days before and 40 days after the general election in November. In addition, a special election may not be held during the 20 days before and the 20 days after any regularly scheduled election of a municipality within the school district.
The Minnesota State Commissioner of Education grants authority over special elections that are petitioned by school administrators. The Commissioner may grant authority to a district to hold a special election if the district is in statutory operating debt and has an approved plan by the Commissioner or received an extension from the Minnesota Department of Education to file a plan to eliminate the statutory operating debt. The school district pays for all costs incurred.
Also, citizens can petition for special elections if a petition of 50 percent or more voters of the school district or five percent of the number of voters voting in the preceding school district general election, whichever is greater, is submitted. If the petition threshold is met, the school board shall can call a special election to vote on any matter requiring approval of the voters of a district.
Wording of measures
In Minnesota all school bond measures must be worded as follows:
"Shall the increase in the revenue proposed by (petition to) the board of ........., School District No. .., be approved?"
Also, under Minnesota law, a warning is put at the bottom of the question for a yes vote by stating:
BY VOTING "YES" ON THIS BALLOT QUESTION, YOU ARE VOTING TO EXTEND AN EXISTING PROPERTY TAX REFERENDUM THAT IS SCHEDULED TO EXPIRE-For extending a referendum
"Passage of this referendum will result in an increase in your property taxes." For new referendums.
"Passage of this referendum extends an existing operating referendum at the same amount per pupil as in the previous year." For existing levies.
All school bond ballots must be separate from general elections as they are required to be goldenrod in color. There is no single subject law for ballot measures in Minnesota despite the Minnesota Constitution mandates a single subject rule for each piece of legislation being introduced.
Required notice of election
Under Minnesota law there are two stages for required notice, first a school district must seek approval from the Commissioner of Education at least 60 days or later before any election can take place then after approval from the state, a final resolution must be approved by the school board 46 days before the election (126C.17, Subdivision 11)
List of 2009 Minnesota school bond referendums
The following are school bond referendums that were held during 2009 in Minnesota. All results are provided by the Minnesota School Boards Association
|Date||District||Bond Amount||Passed/Failed||% Pass|
Historical election results
The following are school bond referendums that were held in 2009 in Minnesota. All results are provided by the Minnesota School Boards Association
|Date||District||Bond Amount||Passed/Failed||% Pass|
|November 4||Melrose #1||Renew a $700 per pupil levy.||Passed||61.7% to 38.3%|
|November 4||Melrose #1||If renewed, raise the operating limit by $200 to $900 a pupil||Failed|
|November 4||Milaca||Establish a new $350 per pupil levy.||Failed||63% to 37%|
|November 4||Minneapolis Public||Exceed Levy by $585 from $614 per pupil to $1,200 per pupil||Passed||70.9% to 29.1%|
|November 4||Montgomery-Lonsadle #1||Establish a new $307 per pupil levy.||Passed||59.6% to 40.4%|
|November 4||Montgomery-Lonsadle #1||Establish a new $394 per pupil levy.||Passed||53.9% to 46.1%|
|November 4||Nashuwak-Keewatin||Replace $117 per pupil levy limit with $900 per pupil new levy||Failed||60.4% to 39.6%|
|November 4||New London-Spicer||Raise operating levy limit from $397 to $597||Passed||60.5% to 39.5%|
|November 4||Northland Community-Question #2||Authorize $440,000 in bonding to refinance elementary school lease||Passed||55.7% to 44.3%|
|November 4||Osseo||Issue $5 billion in bonding for a five year technology levy.||Failed||57.9% to 42.2%|
|November 4||Proctor||Raise operating levy limit from $399 to $400 a pupil.||Failed||57.8% to 42.2%|
|November 4||Red Lake||Exceed operating limit by $600 from $1,000 to $1,600 per pupil||Passed||57.9% to 42.1%|
|November 4||Robbinsdale||Revoke previous levy of $848 and issuing a new||Passed||63.6% to 36.4%|
|November 4||Rockford Area||Raise revenue cap from $900 a pupil to $912||Passed||53% to 47%|
|November 4||South St. Paul||Issue $7.5 billion for a capital projects levy over 10 years.||Failed||56% to 44%|
|November 4||St. Louis Park||Raise operating levy from $1,560 per pupil to $1,869 per pupil||Passed||62.5% to 37.5 %|
|November 4||St. Louis Park||Issue $11 million in bonding for deferred maintenance||Passed||62.2% to 37.8%|
- Voting on school bond and tax measures
- Where to find information about local school bond and tax elections
- School bond election
- Approval rates of local school bond and tax elections
- "Minnesota State Legislature" Minnesota Bond law(Referenced Statute 126C.72)
- "Minnesota Revisor of Statutes, Minnesota Education Law(Referenced Statute 126C.17, Subdivision 1)
- "Minnesota Revisor of Statutes, Minnesota Education Law(Referenced Statute 126C.17, Subdivision 5)
- "Minnesota Revisor of Statutes, Minnesota Election Law(Referenced Statute 200.02, Subdivision 16)
- "Minnesota Revisor of Statutes, Minnesota Education Law(Referenced Statute 126C.17, Subdivision 11)
- "Minnesota Legislature" Minnesota Election Code(Revised Statute 205A.05, Subdivision 1)
- "Minnesota Constitution" Legislative Branch(See Article IV, Section 170