Kansas City Board of Education should roll back tax rate The Kansas City Star


Kansas City Board of Education should roll back tax rate The Kansas City Star dollar 1.99 for 1 month dollar 12.99/month after, cancel anytime. dollar 1.99 for 1 month dollar 12.99/month after, cancel anytime. Let Google manage your subscription and billing. The Kansas City Public Schools Board of Education has a chance this week to ease the burden for homeowners caught in the reappraisal debacle in Jackson County. The board can — and should — lower its property tax rate. It should be able to do so without causing serious harm to public or charter school students, while protecting poor and fixed income residents from massive hikes in their property tax bills. The math is pretty clear. The district says the assessed value of all the real property within its borders will jump by 25 percent this year, to more than dollar 3.3 billion. The total is higher because of the well publicized county reappraisal process, which left many taxpayers stunned by the much higher valuation of their homes. Most jurisdictions receiving property tax dollars are required, under whats known as the Hancock Amendment, to roll back their levies so they dont get a reassessment windfall. Those jurisdictions are lowering their rates. But the Hancock Amendment doesnt apply to the Kansas City school district. If the board leaves the current levy where it is, the district will get a 25 percent windfall. That could cost homeowners hundreds of additional dollars. The school district levy is roughly half of the total property tax bill. Rolling back the school districts rate could have a real impact. District officials told The Star Editorial Board they havent decided on a recommendation to the school board regarding a rollback. The districts initial budget anticipated a 17 percent increase in property values, they said, but the extra 8 percent provided by higher assessments could make money available for improvements such as air conditioning and roof repair. They also said the bad publicity surrounding reassessment has likely killed any effort to ask voters for a levy increase next year. We support the Kansas City School District. But we also support homeowners who fear for their homes because of high appraisals. They deserve consideration, too. A modest rollback in the districts levy is appropriate. Eight percent seems like a good target. The district will hold a public hearing on a possible rollback Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the district headquarters, 2901 Troost Avenue. Homeowners upset with their appraisals should be there, as should patrons with children in school, to make their voices heard. The board will set the levy on Wednesday. The reassessment process has been a mess in Jackson County. It needs serious reform, something the state legislature should address next year. For now, though, real help for beleaguered homeowners is possible, and the Board of Education should provide it. The COMBAT sales tax, which yields dollar 22 million per year, is supposed to reduce illegal drug use and violent crime. County Executive Frank White sees sees no reason to be constrained by its intended purpose. Subscribe for 12 FREE weeks of unlimited digital access. Real time updates and all local stories you want right in the palm of your hand.

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