April 3, 2013
Voters in Knob Noster and La Monte approved property tax measures that boost funding for their local school districts.
In Knob Noster, the property tax levy increase won about 72 percent of the vote. The school levy now moves from $2.75 per $100 valuation to $3.50 per $100. The impact on the owner of an $82,000 home — the district’s median home price — will be about $10 per month. But the greater impact is on the district, as the increase helps it remain eligible for an additional $2 million to $3 million each year in federal “heavily impacted” funding.
One of the stipulations to receive heavily impacted aid is the district must maintain taxation rates of at least 95 percent of the average of local contributions to school districts. The increase approved Tuesday keeps Knob Noster within that range.
Superintendent Jarret Tomlinson said the results are proof that “the community values the school district. We see how important it is to them to keep their school district great. They don’t want average, they want us to be great.”
The district provided a series of public sessions to provide information to residents and to hear taxpayers’ concerns.
“The biggest knock in the past was our communication with the public,” Tomlinson said. “So we engaged the community, got their input and listened to their beliefs and values. ... We got the outcome we did (in the election) because we built a relationship between the district and the community.”
In the La Monte R-IV School District, what amounts to a one-year extension of its current bond levy sailed through with 83 percent of the vote. Superintendent Joan Twidwell said many voters told her the decision was a “no-brainer.”
The ballot measure concerned an eight-year, $950,000 bond issue, but because of payments made on the existing levy, approval of the new request in effect, extends the original bond by one year — to 2021 — without raising the current rate of taxation. The money will be used for new roofs on the elementary and high school buildings, along with repairs or replacements for windows and doors.
“Our patrons realized it is important to keep our facilities structurally sound,” Twidwell said. And while she had confidence the measure would pass, “You never know until the numbers come in.”