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9 Kansas City-area school districts have tax issues on Tuesday’s ballot

Posted at 6:24 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 16:47:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nine Kansas City-area school districts, including four north of the river, have tax-levy or bond issues before voters Tuesday as special elections take place across Missouri.

The North Kansas City School District will have two tax-related questions before voters.

Question 1 seeks approval for the issuance of $140 million in general obligation bonds to pay for acquiring land, building new facilities, renovating existing facilities, and purchasing school buses and other transportation equipment.

The district, which is the second-largest in Missouri, said the bond issue won’t increase taxes but is needed “to accommodate rapid growth” with 1,500 new students projected in the next five years.

Question 2 asks voters to increase the operating tax levy ceiling $0.20 with a corresponding decrease in the debt-service tax levy for zero property tax increase.

The transfer would give NKC Schools more money for “operating, maintaining, and staffing school facilities.”

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Also north of the river, the Park Hill School District has two propositions before voters.

Proposition I is a $137-million bond issue, which would not increase property taxes.

If passed, the money would be used to build a new elementary school and address infrastructure needs at existing district facilities.

Proposition N asks voters to approve transferring $0.27 of the district’s overall property tax levy to the operating tax levy from the debt-service tax levy, which would allow Park Hill Schools to use that money for operating, maintaining and staffing school facilities.

The Kearney R-1 School District will ask voters to approve a $44-million bond issue, which also won’t bump up the debt-service tax levy.

The district hopes to build a new elementary school, expand the early-childhood program facilities, add a new performing arts center at Kearney High School and make additional infrastructure improvements.

Additionally, the Lawson R-XIV School District has proposed an $0.87 increase to the district’s operating tax levy to help “pay for increased costs of retaining quality teachers and staff” as well as increased “operating costs.”

If approved, the district’s operating tax levy would bump to $3.7407 per $100 of assessed value — an increase of roughly $165.30 on the annual property tax bill for a $100,000 home.

Cass County school bond issues

Four Cass County school districts have bond issues on the April 5 ballot. Only one would require a tax increase.

The East Lynne School District in Cass County will ask voters to approve borrowing $500,000 “for site development, construction, equipping, and furnishing the reconfiguration of current spaces to address recent growth within the district.”

The district also said it needs to replace roofs and add secure entrances among other infrastructure priorities.

If approved, the district’s debt service tax levy, which is currently $0, would increase to $0.24 — a cost of roughly $45.60 in annual property taxes for a $100,000 home.

The other three other Cass County districts have no-tax-increase bond issues on the ballot.

  • The Holden R-III School District will ask voters to approve $8 million in general obligation bonds for infrastructure improvements — including safety and security improvements, HVAC upgrades, lighting, roof repairs, parking lot resurfacing, additional storage and technology, and enhancements to playgrounds and athletic facilities;
  • Pleasant Hill R-III is making a similar zero-tax-increase request of voters for $10 million in general obligation bonds for building renovations, repairs and expansion;
  • Finally, the Strasburg C-3 School District has a $2.2 million bond issue before voters, which would provide for safety and security upgrades, remove asbestos, and a variety of other infrastructure upgrades.

Jackson County school taxes

The Lone Jack C-6 School District will ask voters to approve a $0.2436 transfer from its debt-service tax levy to its operating tax levy on Tuesday with the goal “to attract and retain quality certified and support staff, maintain its facilities and meet the operating expenses of the District.”

If approved, there would be no net change to the district’s overall property tax levy.