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District Three board votes to reduce debt millage 

Batesburg-Leesville, SC – At a September meeting of the board of trustees of Lexington County School District Three, the board voted to reduce the district’s Debt Service millage from 84.6 mills to 76.9 mills. This was required by the 2020 Lexington County reassessment. This rollback comes as the district prepares to put two referendum questions on the November ballot. Both deal with borrowing for school improvements. 

If approved by voters, the first question will allow Lexington County School District Three to borrow up to $50 million dollars in general obligation bonds to fund renovations at B-L Primary, B-L Elementary and B-L High Schools. If this bond issue passes, residents and business owners should not see a millage or tax increase on any of their upcoming tax bills for Debt Service. Debt Service is a line item on tax bills and can be seen in the itemized column. 

The second question is only applicable if the first question is approved by voters. A majority YES vote on question #2 would allow Lexington County School District Three to borrow an additional $15 million dollars in general obligation bonds to finance the costs of constructing and equipping a new media center at B-L Primary School and a new competition gym at B-L High School. In order for Lexington Three to borrow these additional funds, voters must approve both question #1 and question #2 on November 3rd of this year. The questions cannot be split because they rely on each other. 

The proposed improvements in the second question would affect the portion of property taxes homeowners pay called Debt Service. Debt Service money is used to repay debt for capital projects like building or renovating schools. Originally, it was reported that the millage rate would increase to 108 mills if Question #2 passed. However, because the current millage levy dedicated to Debt Service in Lexington Three was reduced from 84.6 mills to 76.9 mills by the board as part of the 2020 Lexington County reassessment process, the millage would in fact only increase in the district to 94.8 mills if the second is approved. Detailed information regarding how approval of this question may affect a resident or business owners’ tax bill can be found by visiting www.lex3.org and looking under the Bond Referendum tab at the top of the homepage.

Two public meetings are planned to allow residents an opportunity to ask questions and comment about the proposed borrowing. Both will be held at the Lexington Three Fine Arts Center on the campus of Batesburg-Leesville High School. One is scheduled for October the 13th at 6:00 p.m. The second meeting will be held on October the 27th at 6:00 p.m. As one might expect because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, attendees will be required to wear a mask and are asked to follow all social distancing guidelines. 

For a detailed explanation of the renovations of the schools that would take place, please visit www.lex3.org and look under the Bond Referendum tab at the top of the homepage.

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