Purchase photos

USD board meets with voters to discuss tax increase


Approximately 30 people attended the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce chamber chat hosted by USD 489 Friday morning.

Mark Hauptman, assistant superintendent of special services, gave a presentation about the district's local option budget mail ballots.

District officials are asking active qualified voters to vote to approve a 1-percent increase. If that increase passes, the board expects to approve an additional 2-percent increase for one year.

Hauptman emphasized that even with recent personnel cuts, "our class sizes are still very good."

Elementary classes -- kindergarten through fifth grade -- are expected to average less than 22 students, middle school classes will average 25 and high school classes 23 for the 2014-15 school year.

Board of education members have indicated the additional $198,000 the one percent increase would raise, would be used to hire teachers.

Questions from those attending the chamber chat ranged from the percentage of the district's salaries that is paid to teachers -- that information wasn't available -- to how the tax would be assessed. Additional property taxes for USD 489 patrons.