Financial Focus
Clear Lake Tax Rate Information

  • The First Chart is the Clear Lake Total Tax Levy with each levy that contributes to the total levy from 2014-2020
  • The Clear Rate Tax Rate has come down by $1.85 since 2014 from $12.24-10.39
  • The tax rate has remained steady for the last three years at $10.39
  • The district has not had a debt service levy since 2016
  • The Combined District Cost (CDC) Levy – is the uniform levy and additional levy, which are generated through the state formula. This levy has been on a steady decline over the last six years.
  • The Instructional Support (ISL) Levy – The Clear Lake School Board approves this levy every five years or they can do a ten-year voter-approved levy. This funding can be used for any general fund purpose. Clear Lake funds this levy through both property tax and income surtax. This levy has stayed pretty steady over the last six years.
  • Cash Reserve Levy – This levy is used to maintain adequate cash reserves to handle the cash flow. This levy is also used to back added spending authority granted by the School Budget Review Committee (SBRC). Districts are limited to the amount they may levy each year. This levy has changed over the years, as you can see there was no cash reserve levy in 2016 and 2017 and then a big jump in 2018 and 2019. This was due to the overspending of cash in 2015-2017, which depleted our cash reserves, so the district levied to get back to a better solvency ratio. For 2020 we could only levy a small amount because the district is in a much better cash position.
  • Management Levy – is not rate restricted, but use restricted. It can only be used for liability insurance premium costs, tort judgments, self-insurance, loss of property, unemployment, early retirement, and cost of mediation or arbitration.
  • Board approved PPEL -the maximum amount of this levy is $0.33. Funds are restricted to building and grounds purchases and improvements, transportation equipment (such as buses), energy conservation, technology equipment over $500, and non-instructional programming.
  • Voter approved PPEL – This must be approved by the voters and the maximum amount that can be approved is $1.34. Funds can be used in the same manner as the board approved PPEL. Clear Lake currently has a $0.67 voter-approved PPEL.
  • Debt Service Levy – Requires a 60% voter approval. Rate not to exceed $2.70 unless a 60% voter approval for the rate to exceed that level to $4.05. Funds are used to pay general obligation bonds used to finance infrastructure projects.

Tax Rate Comparison

  • This next graph compares the Clear Lake School District Tax Rate in 2020 to all of the NCC conference schools and other school districts in our area.
  • As you can see Clear Lake has the lowest tax rate in this area.
  • There are only 32 school districts in the state with a lower tax rate than Clear Lake.


Click on image for larger view


Click on image for larger view


Public Access to Outstanding Levies
Section 298.6, Code of Iowa requires school districts to provide public access to a list of all outstanding levies by rate, amount, duration, and the applicable maximum levy limitations. The Department of Management’s website includes an Excel spreadsheet called “Outstanding Property Tax Levies and Maximum Levy Limits “, with the required information for all districts at this location:

The Department of Education’s website includes additional information required for the annual school district financial report specified in section 279.63, Code of Iowa.