Waynesville School District Tax Levy Increase Will Be On The April Ballot

The Waynesville R-VI Board of Education voted to place a 10-cent local school tax levy on the April 2nd ballot to keep the district eligible to receive $8.5 million in annual B-2 Heavily Impacted Aid during their regular board last week.
Superintendent Hilary Bales says, “This is not something that we recommend lightly as we know that nobody likes to pay more taxes; however, it is important that we maintain the quality of life that we have provided in this district for quite some time. As the county’s second largest employer and the largest school district in the county, we have a significant impact on the community.”
As part of the B-2 criteria, the Federal Government requires districts to meet a 95% minimum standard that is directly linked to the level of local tax revenue in order for the district to receive B-2 aid. Waynesville R-VI is currently at 95.13%.
Bales says, “Unfortunately, they don’t round up, so even if we went to 94.99%, we would fall out of B-2 eligibility. This is something that we have been working on to inform the public.”
The district has provided information through multiple surveys, focus groups, the I in the Tiger, local media, social media, parent newsletters, advisory boards, school board meetings and Rotary and Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce meetings.
B-2 is used for maintenance, repairs, upkeep, new construction and remodeling and funds about half the district’s annual capital expense budget of $17 million. The district has no bonds (debt tax service) because of B-2.
Bales says, “B-2 benefits all of our students – both military and civilian. Falling out of B-2 eligibility would affect every area of our schools. If we lose B-2, we would have to figure out how to make an $8.5 million budget reduction.”
The district’s current tax levy is $2.95. A 10-cent increase would put the district’s total tax levy at $3.05 – still more than $1 below the state average total tax levy of $4.15.