To the editor:
So, the Mehlville Board of Education is proposing a “no tax increase” bond issue? Watch out, taxpayers. There exists no such thing. What the school board is proposing is to keep money which was promised to be returned to you.
Keeping money that is rightfully yours is a tax increase. And couching it as not a tax increase simply means that money which should be returned will not be given back when the indebtedness from the certificates of participation (COPs) expires.
Instead, the board is planning to renege on their promise and keep up to 12 cents of that money for the safety and security of staff and our children. Clearly an appeal to emotions. And a way to keep money belonging to the taxpayers without having to seek a tax increase. What better way to ensure that the voters will not read the fine print in the ballot language.
And speaking of fine print. The ballot language says, “If this proposition is approved, the total levy of the school district is expected to remain unchanged due to an anticipated voluntary decrease in the operating levy of the school district. As a result, about 45 cents of the total tax levy will be freed up for our operating budget…” Why is the board making the decrease voluntary? They could vote to return that money (45 cents) to the taxpayers the next time they set the tax rate for the district. They clearly have no intention of doing so.
School board members are elected to represent the citizens of the district. Clearly, the financing plan and ballot language for Proposition S makes clear that is not the case.
Please vote “no” on Prop S.
Editor’s note: Rich Franz served on the Mehlville school board from 2011 to 2014.