After months of analysis, discussion and planning, the Platte County R-3 Board of Education last week unanimously voted to place a 60-cent tax levy increase question on the April 3 ballot. “This has been a long process,” R-3 Superintendent Dr. Mike Reik said prior to the Board’s vote. “We have vetted the community and received feedback. We have conducted an extensive financial review and we know what our enrollment growth projections look like. It’s time we pull it all together and take the issue to our patrons.”
The ballot question will read as follows and requires a simple majority to pass:
“To provide funds for the operation, maintenance, improvement, expansion and acquisition of school facilities, including construction, furnishing and equipping of a new elementary school on existing district property, shall the Board of Education of the Platte County R-3 School District be authorized to (a) fully eliminate the reduction in the operating levy (Proposition C rollback) for school purposes resulting from sales tax revenues allocated to the district as provided in section 164.013, RSMo, as amended, and (b) increase the operating tax levy ceiling of the district to $4.0688 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.
“If this question is approved, the operating levy of the district is estimated to increase by $0.60 from $3.4688 to $4.0688 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.” Reik has previously called the building project/tax levy increase ballot issue a “referendum on growth.” The district’s enrollment currently stands at 3,650. When the district completed its last building projects — Pathfinder Elementary in 2008 and classroom additions at Barry and Paxton schools — the enrollment was roughly 2,800. With an estimated annual enrollment increase of five percent, district officials project enrollment to surpass 4,000 in the next few years, escalate to 4,500-4,800 in 2016-17 and 5,300-6,000 in the 2021.
To read more, pick up the Jan. 25 edition of The Platte County Citizen.