South county voters to consider two tax-rate increases next Tuesday

Six-cent tax-rate hike sought by St. Louis County Library

By Staff Report

Besides local, state and national races, south county voters will consider two tax-rate increase proposals when they go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The Special School District is asking voters for a 19-cent tax-rate increase, which SSD Board of Education Vice President Dan Cuneo called a necessity.

The proposed tax-rate increase, Proposition S, would fund $85 million worth of construction and renovation in the district, assist in maintaining competitive salaries, maintain services for students with autism and sustain programs for post-school employment.

If approved, Cuneo previously told the Call the hope is funding from Prop S will last for six years.

SSD last asked voters for an increase in 2006, which was an 18-cent tax-rate increase that received 62-percent approval.

Before that, the district sought a 24-cent tax-rate increase in 2000, which was approved with 62 percent of the vote as well.

If Prop S is approved, the SSD’s tax rate would increase to $1.19 per $100 of assessed valuation from the current rate of $1 per $100. A simple majority is required for approval.

The St. Louis County Library also is asking for a tax-rate increase next week.

The 6-cent tax-rate increase, Proposition L, would fund construction, renovation and upgrades to facilities. The tax rate would increase from 16.3 cents per assessed valuation to 22.3 cents if Prop L is approved.

In addition, if Prop L is approved, the library’s tax-rate ceiling would increase to 26 cents per $100 from the current 20 cents.

A simple majority is required for approval.

The Tesson Ferry Branch County Library would be rebuilt as part of a 10-year upgrade plan if Prop L is approved. County Library Director Charles Pace previously told the Call the Tesson Ferry Branch is “essentially at the end of its design life.” Original HVAC units and electrical systems are still used, and the building at 9920 Lin Ferry is “built partially on a sinkhole,” according to Pace.

Other improvements would include updating and rebuilding various branches of the library system. Updates would include games, learning activities and the possibility of a digital content creation lab.