Assessed valuations for year increase for area schools

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Districts can use extra revenue to cover costs

The assessed valuation for each school district increased this year to allow for more property tax revenue in the districts' incidental and debt service funds.

Each district determines its tax rate by dividing the amount of revenue needed by the current assessed valuation. The result is multiplied by 100. The tax rate is expressed in cents per $100.

Cassville School District

The Cassville School District has an assessed valuation of $162,924,116, an increase of 1.56 percent over the previous year.

The incidental tax rate is $2.95, and the district budgeted $4,806,261 in property tax revenue. The debt service tax rate is 40 cents, and the district budgeted $651,696 in property tax revenue.

Exeter School District

The Exeter School District has an assessed valuation of $13,375,715, an increase of 2.2 percent over the previous year.

The incidental tax rate is $3.4823, and the district budgeted $465,782 in property tax revenue. The debt service tax rate is 64.9 cents, and the district budgeted $86,808 in property tax revenue.

Purdy School District

The Purdy School District has an assessed valuation of $26,140,172, an increase of 1.1 percent over the previous year.

The operational/teacher/building tax rate is $2.8115, and the district budgeted $734,931 in property tax revenue.

That rate was $2.75 the previous year, said Superintendent Steven Chancellor.

"The purpose for doing the increase over the prior year is we are using that money for technology purposes," Chancellor said. "All the additional revenue that comes in for that will be earmarked for technology."

The debt service tax rate is 73 cents, and the district budgeted $190,823 in property tax revenue.

Southwest School District

The Southwest School District has a total assessed valuation of $34,525,804, an increase of 1.22 percent over the previous year.

The district covers Seligman, Washburn and portions of McDonald County. The assessed valuation from Barry County is $29,134,544, an increase of $451,983 over the previous year, according to district documents. The assessed valuation from McDonald County is $5,391,260, a decrease of $36,090 over the previous year.

The incidental tax rate is $2.75, and the district budgeted $949,460 in property tax revenue. The debt service tax rate is 85 cents, and the district budgeted $293,469 in property tax revenue.

The district has included a $150,000 prepayment strategy with its debt service.

The strategy will ultimately save the district about $33,000 in interest, said Superintendent Bob Walker.

"That will allow the district to maintain and justify maintaining the debt service levy of 85 cents," Walker said.

Wheaton School District

The Wheaton School District has a total assessed valuation of $19,023,108, an increase of 2.07 percent over the previous year.

The district is in Barry, McDonald and Newton counties. The assessed valuation from Barry was $16,379,473, the assessed valuation from McDonald was $1,323,525, and the assessed valuation from Newton was $1,320,110.

"At this point, both the Board of Education and I feel comfortable with the district finances," said Superintendent Lance Massey. "We are concerned with declining enrollment numbers in combination with the potential funding cuts that comes with state legislature's recent tax cuts. Not fully funding the states foundation formula could result in our district need to make cuts in the years to come. However, we continue to have good fund balances, and that will help us get through some of those rocky times."

The incidental tax rate is $2.75, and the district budgeted $523,135 in property tax revenue. The debt service tax rate is 83 cents, and the district budgeted $157,892 in property tax revenue.

This summer, the district replaced a roof on the elementary school and made some significant electrical upgrades and enhanced security features throughout the district, Massey said. Part of this project was paid for with capital purchase dollars and the remainder was financed on a lease/purchase plan. That payment on is nearly $14,000 this year.

In 2012, the district refinanced its general operating bonds at a much lower interest rate, he said. The debt service levy takes care of that payment, which is a little more than $128,000 this year.

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