Mason City, Iowa – Jack McCourt has lived in Mason City for almost 80 years.
And is holding his own once again against the Mason City School Board looking to be granted a new tax levy.
He doesn’t want to see property taxes go up any more.
“I’m guessing they’ll put the biggest percentage on property because there has got to be more property in Mason City than people that make big money,” said McCourt.
Right now, the school board can pass the levy on its own.
But if McCourt’s petition gathers enough signatures, 10 percent of the number of voters in the last school board election; they’ll be forced to hold a public vote.
“Enough signatures on a petition, the levy is automatically on your income tax and on your property tax. Anytime they pass that 10 percent levy, I think it ought to be up to the voters to say yes or no,” said McCourt.
Tim Becker, President of the Mason City School Board, is hoping to get his voice heard on how bad the school needs it.
“The state is telling us we have to do more, but it do it with less, and that worked up to a point. That point is past in which we have to have funds, to replace those funds, which are not going to be coming from the state,” said Becker.
But this isn’t the first time they’ve asked for a levy.
“And people say well just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean we have to. That’s an OK point except when you realize that its making our kids play at a disadvantage,” said Becker.
Another big factor playing into why they need this levy Becker says is because the students more than ever need a lot more from the schools.
The district now serves more than half of their students through the free and reduced lunch program.
Becker says he hopes the community realizes that even though raises taxes isn’t fun, it’s the best way to go about helping the students.
McCourt just wants the voters to have a say.
“That I can get enough signatures between me and a few other guys that are out with the petitions so it’s for a vote the people vote to raise their taxes then I can live with that,” said McCourt.