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Forum staff reports, Published March 05 2014

335 ballots cast in early voting for Fargo School District special mill levy election

FARGO – Fargo School District voters have already begun casting votes in the special election to decide whether they’ll allow the district to continue taxing above a state-mandated cap.

In the first day of early voting on Wednesday, 335 ballots were cast, said Cass County Auditor Michael Montplaisir.

Early voting continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Doublewood Inn, 3333 13th Ave. S.

The election is Tuesday, with voting taking place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Atonement Lutheran Church, the Fargodome and seven Fargo schools – South High, and Lincoln, Clara Barton, Kennedy, Madison, McKinley and Roosevelt elementary schools.

A state law passed in 2009 requires school districts to seek voter approval if they want to tax above the state-mandated cap of 70 mills.

The district can now levy up to 170.46 mills, though only 139 general fund mills were levied for the 2014-15 school year. In the special election, the school district is asking voters to allow a levy of 150 mills for the next 10 years.

A mill is a property tax rate expressed as one-hundredth of 1 percent. In Fargo, a taxpayer with a $200,000 home would pay $9 for each mill levied.