Ferguson-Florissant Seeks .75¢ Levy Hike

1st Tax Hike  Request Since 1992

 

The Ferguson-Florissant School District’s Board of Education has approved a measure to place a 75-cent tax levy on the Aug 6th  ballot. The last tax levy requested by the district was in February of 1992.

Proposition A will ask voters to authorize an increase to the operating tax levy by 75-cents  per $100 of assessed valuation for the purpose of paying general operating expenses. If the proposition is approved, the adjusted operating levy of the school district per one $100 of assessed valuation is estimated to be $5.49 for residential and commercial real estate property and $5.49 for personal property. For the owner of a home valued at $100,000, the levy would result in a tax increase of approximately $11.86 per month or $142.40 per year.

Prior to making the ballot decision, the board reviewed the results of a community survey conducted by Patron Insight which asked area voters for their opinions on a range of topics related to district performance and public perceptions. The survey responses indicated the concerns of the community that could be served by a tax levy.

Proposition A will ask residents to support an increase in the operating tax levy to help the District maintain its programs and services to students and families. If approved, Proposition A will:

• Maintain the number of staff positions to help the District avoid an increase in class sizes;

• Maintain local Parents as Teachers and preschool programs;

• Fund the increasing cost of technology, textbooks, and other instructional materials;

• Maintain programs, such as band and orchestra, vocal music, drama, fine arts, athletics, Celebrate Children, OASIS tutoring, extracurricular and summer programs;

• Allow all the schools in the district to remain open, rather than having to close a school to save funds;

• Ensure the district’s ability to attract and retain highly-qualified staff.

Ferguson-Florissant currently faces an $8 million deficit as a result of declining assessed valuations for residential and commercial property and decreased state funding. The District cut more than $800,000 from its 2012-2013 budget and reduced the 2013-2014 budget by more than $5 million to address the deficit, including a district-wide salary freeze.  The District also suspended salary increases in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

Additional revenue is needed to avoid further cuts of more than $3 million in the 2013-2014 school year and beyond.  These cuts may include reductions in staff, salaries, programs including fine arts, extracurricular activities and athletics, and transportation services. (Information for this story was provided by Ferguson-Florissant District and its public relations director)

 



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