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Physical Plant & Equipment Levy

The school board may annually certify a regular Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) in an amount up to 33 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.

The voters may authorize a voted Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (VPPEL) for a period not exceeding ten years and in an amount not exceeding $1.34 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. The VPPEL revenues may be used for the same purposes as the PPEL revenues. In addition, the board may obtain loans against future VPPEL revenues and may repay that debt with interest from the VPPEL. Iowa Code 298.2.

This levy may be used for the following purposes: purchase and improvement of grounds; construction of schoolhouses or buildings and opening roads to schoolhouses or buildings; purchase, lease, or lease-purchase of equipment or technology exceeding $500 per transaction; payment of debts contracted for the erection or construction of schoolhouses or buildings, not including interest on bonds; procuring or acquisition of library facilities; repairing, remodeling, reconstructing, improving, or expanding the schoolhouses or buildings and additions to existing schoolhouses; expenditures for energy conservation; rental of facilities; purchase of transportation equipment for transporting students; purchase or lease-purchase of school buildings; equipment purchases for recreational purposes; payments to a municipality or other entity as required under section 403.19, subsection 2 [TIF]; and demolition, clean up and other costs incurred within two years of a natural disaster. Revenues may not be used for employee salaries or travel; supplies; printing costs or media services; or for any other purpose not expressly authorized by Iowa Code.

For specific appropriate and inappropriate uses of the PPEL fund and revenue sources, refer to Iowa Administrative Code 281-98 and chapter 9 of the Iowa Uniform Administrative Procedures Manual.

PPEL Implementation FAQ

Physical Plant and Equipment FAQ

Special School Election Dates

Date Criteria2024202520262027
March - 1st Tuesday (all years)05/03/2404/03/2503/03/2602/03/27
September - 2nd Tuesday (all years)10/09/2409/09/2508/09/2614/09/27
November - 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday (odd years) 04/11/25 02/11/27

Election Results

The spreadsheets listed by school year are summaries of Physical Plant and Equipment Levies submitted to voters during each fiscal year. Previous years results are available upon request.

2020-21 Voter Approved PPEL Elections Results

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Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB)

The Iowa Department of Education is pleased to announce the availability of the application for Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs) Authority. The Federal Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created the Qualified Zone Academy Bond (loan) Program to provide low or no interest financing for renovating school buildings and purchasing equipment.

These are financial instruments that provide low or no interest bonds (loans), which are subsidized by the federal government in the form of tax credits to the bondholder. To qualify, the school:

  • must establish a partnership with a business
  • must have at least 35 percent of the students attending be eligible for free or reduced price lunches
  • must have the students subjected to the same academic standards and assessments as other students
  • must be designed in cooperation with business to enhance the academic program

Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), U.S. Department of Education

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School Bonds

Steps in a School Bond Election Guidelines for Iowa schools to follow in school board elections. It refers to Iowa Code in cases where the law required certain specified procedures. Laws do change and opinions of the attorney general’s office may change the interpretations of laws. Therefore, thoroughly investigate all laws and opinions relating to school bond elections. Included are appendices explaining the selection of an architect or a construction manager.

Twelve steps in a school bond election:

  1. Determine Need for the Project
  2. Assess Needs
  3. Educational Specifications
  4. The Amount of Bonds to be Issued
  5. The Bond Petition
  6. Call the Election
  7. Campaign for Passage
  8. Approve Preliminary Plans
  9. Sell Bonds
  10. Approve Final Plans, Specifications, and Bidding Requirements
  11. Complete the Project
  12. Hold Post-completion Activities
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Special School Election Dates

Date Criteria2024202520262027
March - 1st Tuesday (all years)March 5, 2024March 4, 2025March 3, 2026March 2, 2027
September - 2nd Tuesday (all years)Sept. 10, 2024Sept. 9, 2025Sept. 8, 2026Sept. 14, 2027
November - 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday (odd years) Nov. 4, 2025 Nov. 2, 2026

Election Results

Previous years results are available upon request.

2020-21 School Bond Election Results

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Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE)

A funding stream formerly known as the statewide school infrastructure sales and services tax, local option sales and services tax for school infrastructure.

Moneys received for school infrastructure purposes shall be utilized solely for school infrastructure needs or school district property tax relief. "School infrastructure" means those activities for which a school district is authorized to contract indebtedness and issue general obligation bonds under Iowa Code 296.1, except those activities related to a teacher's or superintendent's home or homes.

Activities include the construction, reconstruction, repair, demolition work, purchasing, or remodeling of schoolhouses, stadiums, gyms, field houses, and bus garages and the procurement of schoolhouse construction sites and making of site improvements and those activities for which revenues under Iowa Code 298.3 or 300.2 may be spent. Additionally, "school infrastructure" includes the payment or retirement of outstanding bonds previously issued for school infrastructure purposes, and the payment or retirement of bonds issued under Iowa Code 423E.5.

After July 1, 2008, all local sales and services taxes for school infrastructure purposes are replaced by the increase in the state sales, services, and use taxes from five to six percent (Iowa Code section 423F.2).

SAVE FAQ - Answers questions on Revenue Purpose Statements, sharing proceeds and joint projects, borrowing, budgeting, accounting and auditing, uses of funds, Certificates of Need, and reorganization and dissolution implications for SAVE and outstanding revenue bonds.


History of local option elections - Shows the local option sales and services tax for school infrastructure election and effective dates and percent of tax by county. The chart also shows if the election passed and the number and percent of yes or no votes. These elections occurred between 1998 and 2008.

SAVE Annual Report

The Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) Annual Report is due to the General Assembly each Feb. 1 pursuant to Iowa Code 256.9(19). The report is available on the Iowa Legislature Required Reports webpage.

The FY23 SAVE Report District Data provides the district-by-district data used to compile the annual report to the legislature, which is from the districts' Certified Annual Report (CAR) and Facilities, Elections, and Sales Tax submissions.

Tax Information

Local Option Tax Information for Local Government 

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