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Board sets new tax rate for 2018-2019

Naomi Saegusa, Staff Writer

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The Rockwood Board of Education approved a new tax rate of $4.5539 for the 2018-2019 year at its Sept. 27 meeting. This is an increase of 5.24 cents from last year. The operating levy will now be $3.8739, while the debt service remains at 68 cents.

According to the Rockwood School District’s official site, taxpayers who own homes with a value of $250,000 will see a net increase over the previous year of approximately $24.89 in taxes, assuming the valuation remains unchanged. Here is the calculation:

2017: $250,000 x 19% x .045015 = $2,138.21 Rockwood taxes for 2017

2018: $250,000 x 19% x .045539 = $2,163.10 Rockwood taxes for 2018

The new tax rate came about partially due to the fact that from 2007 through 2017, the Missouri State Tax Commission and local circuit courts had been reducing property tax valuations for various properties. This caused a loss in revenue to the school district. In an effort to recover the lost revenue, the district plans to include 5.09 cents in the tax rates for 2018- 2019 and 2020.

The change was spurred by the fact that there has been an increase of $38.7 million in assessed valuation since 2017, and despite overall property values increasing, a settlement from the prior year’s tax protests lowered commercial real estate values. This decrease in commercial real estate value caused a 5.24 cent increase in the tax rate for property owners within the Rockwood School District.

An official news release from Rockwood School District’s website stated that “Superintendent Dr. Knost noted that the 2018 tax rate is lower now compared to the years when Rockwood voters approved bond issues in 2015 ($4.7240 tax rate) and 2017 ($4.6678 tax rate). Along with a historically lower tax rate, we have been aggressively paying down our debt.”

Rockwood’s website also stated that “Dr. Knost shared that the district continues to be a responsible steward of the community’s tax dollars.”

“We have a Standard & Poor’s rating of AAA,” Dr. Knost said. “This makes Rockwood one of only four school districts in the state of Missouri to hold such a high, outstanding financial rating.”

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About the Writer
Naomi Saegusa, Staff Writer

Naomi Saegusa is a senior, and this is her second year on staff. She enjoys playing the drums and reading. When she gets older, she would like to own a small bookstore. Naomi can be contacted at nsaegusa006@rsdmo.org.

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Board sets new tax rate for 2018-2019