New law will allow school districts to renew operating levy once without going to voters

New law will allow school districts to renew operating levy once without going to voters

If your school district needs to renew its operating levy this November, a new option is available to simply give board renewal.

A new law passed this year allows for a board renewal of the operating levy once. But if your district is going to renew with board approval, it will need to be fast.

The law requires any board renewal to be finished and approved before June 15. This involves having a board meeting prior to June 15 to renew the operating levy. This meeting will have a public hearing component for the public to give input.

The renewal must also be for the same amount and the same amount of time – so if you had a $500 per pupil operating levy that was approved for 10 years and is running out, you can give board approval of that same $500 per pupil operating levy once for another 10 years. You can’t add an inflationary factor to it, unless the original operating levy had an inflationary increase. Boards that passed a levy for seven years cannot simply renew the levy for 10 years – it has to be the same seven years in the original levy.

MSBA has developed a resolution for a board-approved operating levy renewal. Click here to download the resolution from the MSBA website.

For boards that want to pass the resolution but do not have a regular meeting before June 15, your board must call a special meeting before June 15 to approve the resolution.

Districts can have their school boards approve the renewal of an expiring voter-approved operating referendum authority early, rather than waiting until the year that it expires. Here is a chart that Ehlers prepared to provide districts with the window of time available for renewal:

Final Fiscal Year of Revenue: 2024 2025 2026 2027
Earliest Date Board Could Approve: July 1,2021 July 1,2022 July 1,2023 July 1,2024
Board Must Approve By: June 15, 2023 June 15, 2024 June 15, 2025 June 15, 2026

In 2022, 14 of 34 school operating levies were simple renewals (41%). In 2021, there were 17 of 56 operating levy renewals (30%).

If you have any questions, contact MSBA’s Greg Abbott at 507-420-1881 or email

— By Greg Abbott, MSBA Director of Communications

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