January 24, 2002

Area Boards Of Education Finalize April 2nd Ballots

The Scotland County R-I and the Gorin R-III school boards will fill three vacancies at the April 2 election.

Voters will have some familiar faces to choose from as five of the six incumbents for both boards have filed for re-election.

The Gorin R-III board apparently will not change as all three incumbents have filed for re-election and were the only candidates to place their names on the ballot prior to the closing of the filing period January 15. Cindy Orton, Bill Roach and Mike Parrish will be seeking new terms.

Two of the three incumbents for the SCR-I board have filed for re-election as well as two newcomers. George Koontz will be seeking his second term on the board of education while board president Paul Campbell is seeking to continue his long-time service to the district. The third incumbent, Paula Neese, did not file for re-election. Also seeking election on April 2 will be Scott Brassfield and Mark Drummond.

In addition to the Board of Education election, voters in the Scotland County R-I district also will be deciding a tax issue as the district is asking for a Proposition C waiver. This would allow the board of education control of the annual Prop C rollback payment, which mandates a decrease in the local school district tax levy.

Proposition C was a statewide education sales tax ballot issue that was passed in 1982. Part of the legislation called for school districts to refund half of the total collected from the one-cent sales tax, to the local voters in the form of a "Prop C Rollback".

Each year the Prop C sales tax is collected by the state and then allotted equally to each school based on the district's eligible student count. Last year each school district in the state received roughly $750 per student in Prop C money. For SCR-I that meant approximately $548,700.

But under the complicated formula for the Prop C rollback, the district had to "refund" half that money to local taxpayers. This is done by reducing the tax levy paid on property taxes to the school district.

The district has a $3.69 tax levy ceiling. After calculating the Prop C rollback, the tax levy was adjusted to just under $3.01, meaning the Prop C rollback accounted for $0.68 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Due to declining state financial aid across Missouri and a declining student enrollment on the local level, the SCR-I school board will ask voters to give the district the power to eliminate the mandatory rollback. This would allow the board to set the district's tax levy at an appropriate level to fund the district's school system.

Roughly 420 school districts in the state have already passed Prop C waivers with just around 100 still governed by the rollback demands.

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