The August 2nd primary election will decide a pair of Republican races for local offices and also will feature the return of a tax levy issue for the Scotland County R-I School District.
Local voters who take the Republican ballot in the open primary election, will decide the party’s nomination for County Assessor. Incumbent Jim Ward faces a challenge from Lisa Grubb for the party’s nomination for the position.
Residents in the western district of Scotland County will also have the chance to decide the Republican nominee for Western District Commissioner. Incumbent David Wiggins is being challenged by George Owings.
While the Democratic and Republican ballots feature a number of state races for U.S. Senator, Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Secretary of State, the lone other local issue to be decide is Proposition 1. The school district tax-levy question will appear on all ballots. Individuals not wishing to cast a Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or Constitutional Party may select a non-partisan ballot, which will only have the Proposition 1 question.
Proposition 1, if approved, would allow the Scotland County R-I School District to borrow $3.3 million to build an early childhood development center and make other upgrades at the high school and elementary school. The process would be funded by a $0.33 debt service levy increase.
Voters previously had turned down a $4 million tax levy question from the school district in April by a 628 to 505 margin and a $5 million tax levy proposal was shot down in November 2014.
This spring the Scotland County R-1 School Board of Education used results from more than 200 public survey responses to help fashion the current levy proposal. The board scaled back some of the original proposals after more than 20% of the survey respondents indicated they did not support particular points in the initial bond issue, particularly spending on extracurriculars such as a new all-weather track and new lights for the baseball, softball and football fields.
Many of those items were removed from the current tax levy proposal, helping to lower the total cost to $3.3 million and decrease the tax levy hike from $0.40 to the current proposed levy rate increase of $0.33.