April 3, 2008

Voters to Decide Number of Propositions on April Ballot

When area residents go to the polls April 8th, they will not only be filling a number of city and school board positions, but they will also decide three propositions that will have impact at the city, county and school district levels.

Wyaconda C-I District Considering Annexation to Gorin R-III

Voters in the Wyaconda C-I School District will have an opportunity to chose one future route for the school that is facing troubled times.

After learning of the likelihood of being closed at the conclusion of the 2007-08 school year, the district has placed an issue on the ballot for annexation into the adjoining Gorin R-III school district.

The two neighboring schools are similar in size. Wyaconda C-I has an enrollment of 33 students and a staff off 12. The district has an assessed valuation of $3.76 million. The tax levy is $4.75 per $100 assessed valuation.

If approved the annexation would basically double the size of the Gorin R-III district. The school currently has an enrollment of 27 and maintains a staff of 14. The Gorin R-III district has an assessed valuation of $3.22 million. The current tax levy is $4.56 per each $100 of assessed valuation.

If the ballot proposition fails, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education likely will decide the future of the district, which reportedly would be the annexation into an adjoining K-12 district, either Clark County R-I, or Scotland County R-I if DESE chooses to close the school.

County Seeking Road & Bridge Tax Levy Renewal

For 60 years Scotland County voters have supported the 31-cent special road and bridge tax levy. The issue comes up for renewal every four years and has been approved each time in that cycle since 1947.

Last year the tax levy generated approximately $158,000 to support the county road and bridge system, which is funded by a regular 35-cent tax levy in addition to a ½ cent sales tax for capital improvements.

The special road and bridge levy was originally approved at 35 cents but when the county was reassessed the county commission at that time decided to roll back the levy rate to 31-cents. It has remained at that level ever since.

The county by law can transfer up to three percent of the road and bridge funds into general revenue but as a good-faith gesture for county residents continual support of the tax levy, the county has utilized 100-percent of the fund on road and bridge projects.

City Proposes Change in Tax Collector Job

Ever since the city of Memphis began contracting its tax collection services with the county, the position of city tax collector has basically been defunct.

However by law the position still has remained on the municipal election ballot every two years.

That may change if voters approve a proposition to change the process of electing a tax collector to instead having one appointed by the city council.

The position would still be filled in name only, as the city does not collect any of its own taxes. The salary for the job is three-percent of the collected taxes, meaning there is no pay for the job.

“This simply allows the city to avoid the election expenses that we had been incurring to fill an office that basically exists in name only,” said Alderman Chris Feeney.

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