Mehlville school board should give taxpayers a break, reader says

To the editor:

Again, with the exception of three members, the Mehlville Board of Education takes it to the taxpayer with the 4-3 vote to approve a 2013-2014 budget with revenue based on a full “roll-up” of the school district’s residential tax rate by 11.55 cents.

According to former Chief Finance Officer Noel Knobloch, whose retirement was effective June 30, “there’s no more dollars” with the roll-up due to a drop in the district’s residential assessed valuation.

Well, if my tax rate is $3.65 this year and the new suggested rate is $3.76, that is an increase in my tax rate no matter what school of business you attended. Thank you, board Vice President Lori Trakas, for your understanding that it is a tax increase no matter the Kool-Aid flavor of the month that the education cartel serves.

The district currently has 4 percent more money in reserves than its board-written policy — again board-written policy — that calls for a maximum of 18 percent in reserves. That is roughly $4 million of taxpayer money. You would think the taxpayer would catch a break. And consider this: Remember when the district boasted about saving you, the taxpayer, $6 million in the refinancing of bond-like certificates? Send a thank you card to the board if you received a tax rollback for that savings.

So, in my fuzzy math, that is $10 million of taxpayer money, not the district’s, that the taxpayer has not seen one copper Lincoln head in the form of a tax break.

Keep the budget as it is with the $3.65 rate and take the $3 million or $4 million above the reserve limit to make up the difference. There will be another assessment in two years.

Also, hasn’t the district for the past two or three years at the end of the year come in with a surplus and had to spread it around?

But not to you, the taxpayer, of course.

The point of all this is you four board members need to take care of the owner, taxpayer, once in a while. Three board members get it. Maybe it is because they don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

The board is starting to gain some support, but if that rate is rolled up, just remember Prop C in 2010. When the district really needs an increase, we taxpayers will return the favor — $10 million is a lot of Happy Meals.