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story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City Public Schools (JCPS)

Jefferson City Public Schools' tax rate will not increase this year, as the high school projects that recent previous years' tax increases are paying for near their opening dates — and grand openings of the high school projects for the public have been tentatively scheduled for January.

JCPS' Board of Education approved Monday the 2019 tax rate for the district, at $4.6928 per $100 of assessed evaluation — no different than last year's rate.

Within the total of $4.6928, the school district's debt service tax levy has remained $0.9028 since 2017, after a 65-cent increase from 2016.

Voters approved that 65-cent increase in April 2017, to pay for the construction of Capital City High School and the renovation of Jefferson City High School. Both high schools are planned to be open for students in two weeks, though neither project is planned to be completely finished until about winter break.

Voters also approved increases to the district's operating levy — some of it for immediate needs of the district's existing education system, and the rest phased-in to pay for the addition of Capital City High School.

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JCPS' chief financial and operating officer Jason Hoffman said the operating levy for 2020 is planned to increase next year by 10 cents — from 2019's rate of $3.79 to $3.89.

That increase in 2020 would be the last tax increase for the district's two high school projects.

In terms of the progress of those projects, Hoffman said Capital City High School received its temporary occupancy permit last Friday, and Jefferson City High School is expected to receive the same permit this Friday.

Hoffman said Nabholz Construction assured him Monday that despite any appearances, it's still planned for teachers to be able to be in their JCHS classrooms on Aug. 19.

Grand openings of CCHS and JCHS for the public are tentatively planned for January.

JCPS' Director of Communications Ryan Burns suggested to the members of the Board of Education that both high schools' grand openings be on the same day, back-to-back, with some time between each event for people to travel from one building to the next.

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