FARMINGTON — The Farmington School District voted to increase its tax levy district during a meeting Wednesday.
Director of Business Services Don Eaton said the district holds a public hearing this time of year because the tax rate has to be set by Sept. 1. The district has taxpayers in two counties — 90 percent owning property in St. Francois and 10 percent in Ste. Genevieve.
Farmington’s portion of the assessed valuation for St. Francois County for the 2011/2012 school year is $276,344,380, of which new construction was $5.3 million. This is an increase of more than $4.5 million or 1.7 percent more assessed valuation than the previous year.
The district’s assessed valuation for Ste. Genevieve County in the 2011-12 school year is $34,938,825, of which $352,940 is new construction. This is a decrease of $111,410 or negative 0.3 percent from the previous year.
The district’s total assessed valuation for 2011-12 is $311,283,205.
Eaton recommended the district levy the maximum amount which is $0.9278. This raises the debt ceiling by 28 cents from the previous year and represents the first increase in the debt service tax rate since the 2000-01 school year. This will allow the district to meet current debt obligations and would also accommodate estimated future bond financing in the amount of $17 million.
If the board should decide to place the bond issue on the election ballot in the future, the bond issue proceeds would provide funds for construction, renovation, major repairs and enhancements throughout the district.
Eaton said the 62 cents has carried the district well in the 10 years and the district has kept up with payments. The growth of payments has increased while the district has not. “We feel it’s the best thing for the district right now. We need the additional money to pay the bonds we already owe,” he said.
The board voted 6 to 1 in favor of the increase of taxes. Howard Hoehn voted against the increase.
Board member Jane Bates said this is tough because they are taxpayers too. “This is not something we want to do but something we have to do. It has not been done in a long time and the district is to the point where it can’t be put off anymore,” she added.
The total tax rate for Farmington residents for the 2011-12 school year is $3.7901 with an adjusted tax rate of $0.9000 and the tax rate for 2010-11 school year was $3.5190 with an adjusted tax rate of $0.6200.
The tax rate for the 2000-01 school year was $3.7900 with an adjusted tax rate of $0.6200.
The next regular Farmington School Board meeting will be held on Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. at the Board of Education building.
Maridee Lawson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 756-8927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.