Fair Grove Voters to Decide School Issue on Tuesday's Ballot
Fair Grove is one of 69 school districts in the state that continues to roll back their operating levy in compliance with Proposition C, approved by Missouri voters in 1982. The statewide, one-cent sales tax for public education, required districts with a tax rate higher than $2.75 to roll back their tax levy to account for half the Prop C disbursements received by the district. Many districts now have a Prop C full waiver, and no longer have to rollback their tax levy. Fair Grove voters approved a partial waiver in 1994, and the district is now asking voters to approve a full waiver.
Fair Grove superintendent Mike Bell said that would mean approximately $160,000 to $200,000 each year.
He said the issue on next week’s ballot would free up money for some much needed projects, including transportation.
"Our buses are almost 14-years-old, and I believe the state average is between eight and nine-years-old, so we're getting to the point where we're working on buses every week, and, you know, at any one point--three or four weeks ago we had five buses down at one time. We barely had enough buses to even run our routes," Bell said.
And he said school parking lots haven’t been repaved in several years, and tuck pointing needs to be done on brickwork in the district as well as a new roof on one building.
If voters approve a full waiver tomorrow, the operating tax levy would be set annually by the Board of Education at an amount no greater than the tax rate ceiling set by the MO Auditor’s Office.
Bell estimates a person with a $114,000 home would pay around $66 more per year.