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      Oregon school officials push for levy renewal

      Oregon school officials will be asking voters to dig into their pocket books to help pay for school operations. But school leaders stress this isn't new.

      School board members met to discuss their future Thursday night. A future that's impossible without voters approving a levy the district needs, "it's an important part of our budget we can't afford to lose," explains Oregon Schools Superintendent Michael Zalar.

      The renewed levy would be a five year, 2.00 mill levy, "if we were to lose this revenue which is not a new tax, which will not cost our community property owners any more that what they're currently paying, we will be forced to have to dip into our own general fund even further," adds Zalar about the options of the levy not being renewed.

      District leaders say the levy in the past has brought in around $1.5 million dollars from taxpayers.The district says they expect a little less with this levy which will fund maintenance on school buildings , buses, supplies and safety.

      I n the last five years , the district says they've lost $10 million dollars in state tax restructuring and lower property values. They say without this money, they can't operate, "it's just critically important that people understand that this is really important revenue for the district and we really can't afford to let this roll off and lose this revenue," says Zalar.

      Thursday nights school board discussion was one of two meetings on the renewed levy. T he next meeting will be the January 22nd. Afterwards, the district hopes to get the levy on the ballot for the May 7th elections.