Reader says yes to full-day kindergarten, no to TIF stance and taxes

Letters+to+the+editor

To the editor:

If Lindbergh Schools’ initiative against tax-increment financing, or TIF, succeeds, it hands district officials a veto impacting regional economic development. Their initiative has larger implications impacting the community. It’s about “their” revenue. More like our revenue.

Apparently Lindbergh financed its administrative center using U.S. Bank certificates of participation. The 20-year cost to build their shiny new administration building? About $10 million.

Superintendent Jim Simpson loves his new office. Glad he won’t occupy it longer.

Certificates of participation could fund classrooms. Clearly that isn’t a district priority. And to continue laying approximately $1 million per year upon families for full-day kindergarten.

Never mind those who can’t afford the tuition. Full-day kindergarten tuition is a yearly negative economic impact. Cars not bought. Property enhancements delayed. Kindergarten tuition impacts the community no less than a tax increase.

The district’s opposition to the Crestwood mall project and their campaign against TIF negatively impacts the community.Whether you agree or disagree with TIF, it’s a tool long used for economic growth. The Board of Education’s TIF opposition potentially negatively impacts the region. It’s too much power for any single taxing entity. Other tax entities will board the anti-TIF train.

The board also telegraphs its intent for a tax increase. I support school tax initiatives. With Lindbergh I’m not sure.

I’m paying $7,000 for twins attending full-day kindergarten. Lindbergh is the only district of Missouri’s 500 school districts charging kindergarten tuition.

They aren’t receptive, nor do they seem progressive enough to investigate how they can change this.

Instead, they point to issues like TIF and the mall project. The district isn’t transparent about spending and needs. They want to use all of the above to justify new taxes just a few years after the public handed them one.

As an ardent supporter, I’m poised to say no.

Steven Crawford

Crestwood