In response to a written request from The Gardner News regarding USD 231’s proposed budget, Leann Northway, communications director, issued the following response. The e-mail response appears below:

The special assessment levy is not a new tax for USD 231 taxpayers. 
During the 2011-12 school year the special assessment tax was .457 and provided funding for the Madison Benefit District (2002) and Pioneer Ridge Benefit District (2010).  The special assessment pays for public improvements for new facilities (streets, sewers, etc.)  This assessment will be increased this year from .457 to 2.005 to fund the infrastructure needs at the new elementary/middle school campus.  The estimated cost for this levy on a $150,000 home is $34.59 annually. It is an increase of $26.71 a year. As you are aware, the cost of these improvements is split 50/50 with the City of Gardner. 
The districts LOB mill levy will drop by 3 mills and the district’s overall mill levy is unchanged for 2012-2013 and remains at 82.595 mills.  In summary, the special assessment tax increased and our LOB tax decreased so our patrons will not experience a tax increase for the upcoming year.
Thank you,

Leann (Northway)