School Board Raises Tax Rate

“An apologetic Affton School Board on Sept. 20 voted unanimously to – for a second consecutive year – raise the tax rate on residential property in light of increasing fixed costs and stagnant growth.

After a required public hearing, the board voted on a schedule of rate hikes that included raising the residential tax rate 5.31 percent to $5.2974 per $100 of assessed valuation and the commercial tax rate 3.29 percent to $5.6189.

In his report, District Business Manager John Brazeal explained, “As provided by Missouri statutes, as property values rise, tax rates will fall. And, the opposite is true: when property values fall, tax rates will rise. The end result of either scenario is level tax collections for the school district. For 2011, due to falling assessed valuations, the tax rate will rise slightly.”

According to county assessment figures, the value of all real estate within the Affton district decreased about 4.7 percent this year to $268.7 million while the value of the district’s commercial property base dropped almost 7.5 percent to $60.8 million.

The board also. owing to the same economic factors, declined to roll back property taxes raised by a public vote in 2005. Since 2006, the district had deferred collection of the full tax revenues available through Proposition C every year but 2010 and 2011.

TIF Commission

In other district news, the board reviewed the results of two late summer meetings of the Shrewsbury Tax-Increment Finance Commission, which includes two representatives from the district, Brazeal and Board President Michael McNeil.

Brazeal reported that the cost of a project which proposes to bring a Walmart-anchored retail development to the old Kenrick Plaza has been revised upward to $48.9 million.

“The incremental assessed valuation is only $2.2 million, which sets (the school district’s) lost opportunity revenue in the range of $110,000 to $115,000 annually,” Brazeal said. “Opportunity revenue” refers to tax dollars the district currently is not receiving but would receive if the Shrewsbury retail project proceeded without a TIF agreement.

A public hearing on the redevelopment plan will be scheduled sometime in November at a venue to be determined and the TIF commission is expected to complete its work and forward a recommendation to the Shrewsbury City Council in December.”

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Printed in the South County Times on September 23, 2011

Article by Joe Leicht

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