Crestwood resident believes Lindbergh’s tax-rate increase excessive

To the editor:

When the tax-rate increase for Lindbergh Schools came to a vote last November, I will admit I voted against it.

But obviously I was in the minority as the increase passed. I wasn’t opposed to an increase, but I felt the increase was excessive and unjustified. Most voters clearly didn’t agree with me or didn’t analyze it to the extent I did. Then when I recently received my 2011 tax assessment with tax estimates on it, my concerns were justified.

The assessed value on my house dropped significantly, yet somehow my projected 2011 tax bill went up.

Upon looking at the numbers, my suspicions were correct and the increase was almost entirely for the Lindbergh Schools tax-rate increase. Let me highlight some things from your tax bills:

Lindbergh has three line items that we pay taxes for — “capital improvements,” “debt service” and “school purposes.” The total increase for those three combined was 84.46 cents. Bear in mind that is just the amount of the increase, not the total tax rate.

Looking at the total tax rate — not just the increase, total tax rate — for any other line item on the bill and with the exception of Special School District, the amount of the increase alone for Lindbergh is more than the total taxes we pay for any other single item. Even Special School District’s total tax rate is roughly $1.

What does this mean for the taxpayer? As an illustration, it means the increased amount alone we will be paying Lindbergh is more than the total we are paying our city — Crestwood in my case — for its services, including police and fire.

Again, using Crestwood as an illustration, according to 2009 statistics from

, the median home price is around $195,000. That means the average Crestwood homeowner will be paying Lindbergh about $312 more this year — not total, but more.

This was not a temporary tax increase either. And the vote is done, so there is little we can do now. But please remember this when they are back asking for more money, undoubtedly, in a few years.

Randy Stroede

Crestwood