By The Hays Daily News

The Hays USD 489 mail-in ballot special election to raise the local-option budget 1 percent failed by a wide margin, according to results Friday by Ellis County Clerk Donna Maskus.

The question mailed to 13,642 voters in the district asked if the BOE should raise the LOB to 31 percent, or keep it at 30 percent.

Voters shot down the proposed increase, 3,425-1,794.

The LOB was estimated to raise approximately $6 million for the district. The extra increase would have added an additional $198,175.

With the LOB increase failing, the mill levy will go down 0.54 mills, Hays USD 489 Superintendent Dean Katt told The Hays Daily News earlier this month.

That means property taxes on a $100,000 home in Hays are expected to decrease by $62.10 for the year.

The district said the 1-percent increase would have added $2.30 for local property owners.

Also key to the issue was the school districts ability to raise the LOB an additional 2 percent to 33 percent for one year without a vote from the public.

A total increase of 3 percent would have raised property owners taxes by $133.40 on a $100,000 home. The 3-percent increase would have added $594,525 to the district budget.

The majority of the board had voiced opinion on favoring the 3-percent increase if the mail ballot came back favorably.

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