Lawsuit Challenges Rochester School District Referendum
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester School District today issued a statement in response to a lawsuit that was filed in Olmsted County Court Monday that challenges the legality of the school district's referendum on a propsed $10 million technology levy.
Court documents show the lawsuit was filed by Casey McGregor, who is a member of the Say No to The Taxman Committee that was formed by some local citizens in opposition to the school district proposal and the City of Rochester's proposed extension of its half-sent sales tax. McGregor has said that she brought the lawsuit against the school district as an individual rather as a representative of the group.
The lawsuit challenges the wording of the ballot question for the school district referendum. It contends that it is misleading because the majority of the revenue that would be collected from school district property owners if the referendum is approved would be directed to the general fund and only about $3 million would be used for new technology upgrades.
Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Kent Pekel has stated multiple times that the tax increase would be utilized to shift $7 million in current technology-related expenditures away from the general fund to the new technology levy, which would also allow the district to increase its technology spending by about $3 million per year over the next 10 years.
Pekel discussed the issue during his regular monthly appearance Monday morning on News-Talk 1340 KROC-AM during the Rochester Today show.
A statement issued by the school district this afternoon states, "The District engaged legal counsel to ensure that the ballot question was drafted to meet all legal requirements. We look forward to the election and await the voters decision."
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