Concordia R-2 schools set 2013-2014 tax levy

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Concordia R-2 School District Board of Education held a public hearing Thursday to discuss and approve a tax levy. The total assessed valuation for the 2013-2014 fiscal year is $45,812,229.

"When our assessed valuation goes up, the tax levy goes down," explained Superintendent Mary Beth Scherer. "And when our assessed valuation goes down, the tax levy goes up. It works as a counterbalance."

The tax rate is monitored by the Missouri State Auditor's Office. The valuation/levy negative correlation is to make sure the amount of money a district collects stays similar year to year. The district must complete a detailed worksheet to determine the tax rate and can never take in more than a 5 percent increase in local taxes, unless a levy is passed.

The district is able to apply a debt service levy, as well as an operating levy. According to Scherer the district could potentially have a debt service levy up to $0.6100. Scherer suggested placing debt service at $0.4100. She said this is the lowest levy in the county. The operating levy Scherer asked the Board of Education to approve was $3.9651. Combined with the debt service levy of $0.4100, the district's levy would be set at $4.3751. The board approved the levy.

During the board's regular meeting, Scherer mentioned bricks would be sold at the Aug. 30 football game for placement in the newly built space behind the football field bleachers. A picture of where the bricks will be placed is on the district's Facebook page, as well as information on the district website. There are 398 bricks available for purchase. People are encouraged to contact Karen Schroeder at Concordia High School if they are interested in purchasing a brick.

"The more you order the cheaper they are," said Scherer.

The district is working with the city and Kansas City Power & Light over a replacement power/telephone/data pole for an optical fiber connection between the two schools. The cost to replace a pole is $13,000, with $5,000 of that total for labor. The current pole is not tall enough for what needs to be placed upon it. The city is negotiating with KCP&L for the company to cover labor costs, and the city and school district would cover the remaining cost.

Finally, Scherer updated the board on school bond construction. Construction is nearly complete. Window glass for the CHS media center's new entrance is to be installed soon. The new handicapped-accessible lift was inspected Sept. 3. Scherer is hoping everything will be complete by the Sept. 12 board meeting. Locks for some doors have also been changed or added at CHS for improved security.

"The students are starting to get used to having to buzz in now," said Scherer.

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