(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)- The St. Joseph School Board of Education voted Monday to approve a slight tax increase for the district's revenue starting the 2019-20 school year.
The St. Joseph School Board unanimously voted to increase the total tax rate by about 6 cents, taking it from $3.57 per $100 of assessed valuation last year and bumps the rate to $3.64 per $100 of assessed valuation. The new tax rate is expected to boost the local tax revenue to the district by about $1.2 million.
After fielding community concerns about the 2018-2019 taxes, the board kept changes to a minimum. St. Joseph School Board President Seth Wright said it is all about balance heading into the next fiscal year.
"We listened to the public saying, 'we don't want our taxes to increased,' but we've also got to operate the school district in a way thats best for the kids and that's what we really tried to do tonight; balance those two to help move the district forward," Wright said.
The funds generated from this tax period are expected to be used during the 2020 school year, however, due to the district's balanced and very tight budget, members of the board are concerned about unforeseen expenses.
"The community spoke and we listened, they wanted a balanced budget and thats what we delilvered but that is not something that's going to be sustainable, given our current funding," Wright said. "We made a lot of cuts last year, one time cuts, but with out any additional funding sources moving forward we are going to have to make a lot of other cuts."
SJSD Finance Director Dr. Gabe Edgar stated there will be an amended budget with additional unexpected expenses presented in September.
During that same presentation, the board will discuss future revenue streams the district can use this year to help offset any unforeseen expenses to prevent any more cuts.