Jefferson City, MO 75° View Live Radar Sat H 99° L 76° Sun H 93° L 71° Mon H 89° L 69° Weather Sponsored By:

Your Opinion: Proposed school levy numbers questioned

Your Opinion: Proposed school levy numbers questioned

January 10th, 2017 by Bert Dirschell, Centertown in Opinion

Dear Editor:

When I saw the article titled "Tax rate for two high school plan would still rank among the lowest in the state" I was surprised. In the body of the article was the statement, "Increasing the levy to pay for a new second high school and renovations to the existing high school, as well as new and continuing operating costs, would mean the JCPS district's levy would be somewhere in the top 20 percent of the state." I'm at a loss to understand how both statements could be true.

I am not clear on why we need to vote on two different increases. If voters approve the 65 cent levy to build a 2nd high school and reject the 55 cent levy, which includes money needed to operate the new school, it would seem that the new school should not be built, since there would be no money to operate the new school.

The figure of $26/month was mentioned in the discussions of how much the average tax bill increase for the owner of a $139,000 home in Jefferson City. (Renters of a similarly valued home should expect to see a $26/month increase in their rent, to cover the increased taxes.) Most of us pay our taxes annually. The annual increase would $317 (1.2x$264.10), a 24% increase in the total tax bill.

Census.gov says the median value of owner occupied houses in the entire county is $149,200, significantly higher than Jefferson City. It would seem reasonable to guess that the average home in the county, but outside of Jefferson City, would have a median value of at least $160,000. Folks with a $160,000 home would see an annual increase of $365.

If you are a small business owner with a commercial property valued at even $300,000 you will see an annual increase of $1,152, if I correctly interpreted the figures in the article. If you rent a commercial property worth $300,000 you can expect to see a $100/month increase in your rent to cover the cost of the increased taxes.

---

Issue-oriented letters to the editor are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words in length; longer letters may be edited to conform to the specified length. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published.