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Kirkwood School Tax Rate Rises about 2 Percent

School board president Scott Stream: "This was not a decision that the (board) takes lightly."

homeowners will see their tax bills rise about 10 cents for every $100 in assessed property value under rates approved this week by the school board.

The school board approved a base property tax of $3.92 per $100 of assessed value. Combine that with a debt service rate of about 37 cents per $100, and the tax rate is $4.29, or about 2 percent higher than the 2010 tax rate.

That means the owner of a home valued at $250,000 would pay about $2,037 under the 2011 school tax rate, or about $48 more than than in 2010. That assumes the homeowner's property value has remained constant year to year. Mike Romay, finance director for the district, said home values have declined an average of 2 percent from year to year.

"This was not a decision that the (board) takes lightly," said school board president Scott Stream in an email to Kirkwood Patch. "We have listened over the last few weeks to the administration and to many of our friends, neighbors, business owners and citizens before making the decision."

The board voted unanimously on Monday to raise the rate to the voter-approved ceiling. The tax increase will increase revenues in the district by about $210,000, or less than a half percent, Stream said.

The increase will allow the district to maintain programs, school superintendent Tom Williams said in a statement.

Stream said: "While this addresses the revenue side of the equation, the (board) and administration will continue to look at the expense side. During this past year, the District reduced costs by over $2 million to offset the reliance on our operating fund balance."

He said reductions have included the elimination of 25 positions over the past two years.

2011 Kirkwood School District Tax Rates

Residential Property:  $3.9228

Agricultural Property:  $5.1496

Commercial Property:  $5.0417

Personal Property: $4.3934

Debt Service: $0.3650

The residential tax rate will be what appears on homeowners' real estate tax bills at the end of 2011.

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