Mehlville School District Reaps Windfall at Public Expense
A version of the following letter appeared in the Oakville Call.
There has been much discussion in this newspaper and elsewhere about how the Mehlville School District reacted to the substantial increase in assessed valuations that came about after voters had approved a property tax increase for the district.
Here are the facts: In April, voters approved the tax increase of up to 31 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The district’s assessed valuation then went up 18 percent, much more than in other reassessments. Then, in September, the board voted to raise the tax rate by 29 cents, which was less than what voters had authorized—but only barely. According to reports, applying the 29-cent tax rate hike to the higher assessed valuations will lead to at least $5 million more in tax revenues than originally expected.
These machinations may not violate the law or the letter of the Hancock Amendment, but they certainly break the spirit of the amendment and, more importantly, the trust of the residents. The Mehlville school board should have approved a tax rate that would have raised the revenues expected by the voter approved increase. Instead, they have double-dipped on both assessment and rate increases, and taxpayers are feeling the pain of it.