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Nixon: State Funds Will Help Joplin School District Offset Loss of Local Property Tax Revenue

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http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/nixon-state-funds-will-help-joplin-school-district-offset-loss-local-property-tax-revenue_18945.mp3

To ensure an on-time start for school, the Joplin Public School District had to develop new sites, a task that’s put a strain on the district’s budget. C.J. Huff is the district’s superintendent.

“What those slides show is a 35% decrease in our fund balances as a direct result of our need to expedite the building of warehouse space, remodeling old schools, installing modular classrooms, and repairing damaged facilities that totaled nearly 570,000 square feet, which in effect, we have rebuilt nearly half of our district in 81 days.”

Because of the development of new classroom space and other tornado-related expenses, school administrators were preparing to ask the school board to raise the local commercial and residential property tax levies within voter-approved limits. Governor Jay Nixon says that won’t be necessary.

“Funding for our local schools is a critical priority but raising taxes on Joplin residents and businesses at this critical time would hurt the recovery and simply isn’t an option. That’s why I’m here today. I’m pleased to announce my administration will invest $1.5 million to help the Joplin School District meet its financial obligations for the 2011-2012 school year without raising property taxes on area residents and businesses.”

Nixon explains how the state will send money to the district.

“We have three separate estimated expenditure lines. There’s one in the governor’s office and two in the Department of Public Safety’s budget that allow us to expend those resources and then true it up when the legislature comes back. When this year’s budget was passed, I held back $150 million so that we could under the estimated expense line move that money forward when necessary in Bird’s Point, some places in Northwest Missouri with the floods and other parts of the state.”

After announcing that the Joplin Public School District will receive the additional state funds, Governor Jay Nixon toured the 11thand 12thgrade facility, which is located in the former Shopko building behind Northpark Mall.