Iola, USD 257 tax rates among lowest in area

Property taxes make up the centerpiece of an ongoing debate about whether USD 257 voters will support construction of a new elementary school in Iola, a new science building for Iola High School and improvements to the Iola Middle School HVAC systems.

A quick survey of neighboring communities shows where Iola and USD 257 rank in terms of how much residents pay to own property within the school district.

When combined with taxes to support other entities, including Allen County, Allen Community College and the Southwind Extension District, a resident living in Iola pays a combined 178 mills in ad valorem taxes.

If voters approve a new elementary school, the district’s levy (currently at 43 mills) would increase to about 58; adding the science building and HVAC options would tack on about 6 more.

A mill generates $1 in property taxes per $1,000 in assessed valuation.

That means the owner of a $70,000 home in Iola now pays $1,432 in combined property taxes to support the city, school district, county, college and Extension district.

If just a new elementary is approved in the April 2 school bond election, that same homeowner’s property taxes would be $1,563.

If all three measures pass, his taxes would be $1,612 a year.

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