Lebanon School District Proposes Tax Levy Increase

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LEBANON — The “Operating Levy” increase would be implemented over a three-year span.

Lebanon school officials say they want to make things safer, and more comfortable for students.

That’s why they are asking for an operating levy…Which means funds to help with operating expenses. 

If the voters within district lines approve the tax levy increase, those residents will see an increase of 90 cents for $100 of assessed property value.

Rather having it happen at once, the school will phase it in over three years.

Superintendent David Schmitz breaks down what residents would see over the three-year span. 

“A patron who owns a $100,000 home, which is the average in our schools community, should expect approximately $4.75 dollars of expense monthly; for that first year. Year two would be $9.50, and then in year three, it would be $14.25 dollars,” says Schmitz. 

Schmitz says the owner of an average sized home within the district would see approximately $171 per year in additional expenses once the measure is fully implemented. Thursday’s informational meeting gave the district a chance to explain why there is such a need for an increase in funding. 

Lebanon School Board President Jason Riggs says a number of issues need to be addressed. 

“We’ve got a lot of old buses, the average age is about 14 years old. The state average age is 7 or 8 years. We’ve got some roofing issues, parking lot issues, HVAC system issues that we need to take care of,” Riggs explains.

The school also wants to focus on personalized learning for specific career paths, hiring the best possible staff, and also an issue that is a high priority for many schools: Safety.

“Safety of schools, implementing better cameras, cameras in buses, better doors,” Riggs added. 

For comparison, average operating levy for Missouri schools is 3.67 dollars

Lebanon’s current operating levy is at $2.75. 

“We’re going ask for that to be increased 90 cents to bring that to $3.65 dollars,” Riggs says. 

Lebanon’s levy amount hasn’t changed since the early 1990’s. The district knows it is asking for a lot of money, and that’s why phasing in the levy increase is so important. 

“Because it’s been such a long challenge for us from a funding standpoint, we aren’t asking our patrons to help us get out of this overnight,” says Schmitz. 

For those Lebanon residents within that area, it will be on ballots for the upcoming August 7th election.

If passed residents can find out the exact amount of increased expense they will see by contacting the Laclede County Assessor’s Office. 

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