Dunklin school district put a $0.62 tax hike on the ballot in August (Proposition Blackcat Pride) to fund renovation and new construction of district buildings. The proposition, which needed only a majority, failed, with 52% of voters saying no. Undeterred, as government bodies usually are, Dunklin is back, having put the same proposition on the November ballot (quite a quick turnaround). They probably think the higher November turnout will get them the votes they need to pass this. Here is a list of what Dunklin wants to do with the money. It includes the expansion of Pevely Elementary and a new bus garage.
For comparison purposes, here is a list of the 2015 tax rates for every JeffCo school district in dollars per $100 of real estate valuation, from greatest to least. This comes from the Jefferson County web page.
- Dunklin: 5.3662 (if tax passes)
- Windsor: 4.8429
- Grandview: 4.7466
- Dunklin: 4.7462
- Crystal City: 4.7416
- Hillsboro: 4.7025
- Fox: 4.6767
- Northwest: 4.6026
- Jefferson: 4.5967
- Sunrise: 4.4968
- De Soto: 4.3258
- Festus: 3.74
Note that the Blackcat Pride ballot language says the proposition will raise the district’s operating levy t0 4.6962. This number does not include the district’s 0.67 debt service fund. Add that in and you get the total potential tax rate of 5.3662 listed above.
Get What You Pay For?
It is interesting to see that Festus, by some measures the best school district in the county (when they aren’t suspending Trump sign holders!), has by far the lowest tax rate. However, the districts with the next lowest rates, De Soto and Sunrise, are not very good districts. Windsor, another top district in the county, has the county’s highest rate.
Dunklin, which is right now the 3rd-highest taxing district, is not a great district. If this tax passes, it will have the highest tax, and will be the first district in the county to break the $5 per $100 valuation mark.