Tax rate has not increased, but amount of taxes paid to Lindbergh has

To the editor:

In a recent Call article about Lindbergh Schools’ proposed 65-cent-tax-rate in-crease that is on the Nov. 2 ballot, there was a serious mistake.

Chief Financial Officer Pat Lanane was quoted as saying: “… We haven’t had an operational tax increase since 1993 …”

This is not true. He should have stated a tax-rate increase. The tax rate has stayed about $3.16 per $100 of assessed valuation. But Lindbergh gets a tax increase usually every two years because the county assessor raises the value of the home a lot, usually about 20 percent.

In 1993, the average home was taxed by Lindbergh at $434 and in 2008 the same home with no improvements was taxed by Lindbergh at $823. From $434 to $823 is a tax-dollar increase, so how can Mr. Lanane say there has not been a tax increase since 1993? Is this part of the new math?

I think the county assessor plans to raise your home valuation by about another 15 percent or 20 percent, like he has been doing for the past 20-some years.

If the Lindbergh tax-rate increase on the Nov. 2 ballot should not pass, then I think your $823 Lindbergh tax will go up to about $964 for tax year 2011 because of your new assessment. If you vote “yes” on the Lindbergh tax-rate increase — from $3.16 to $3.81 — then I think your $823 tax with go up to about $1,115 for tax year 2011. This includes the increase that I am projecting. I based this projection on the assessor’s past 20 years of increases in assessed valuation. So there you can see the increase in your school tax from $434 in 1993 to $1,115 in 2011. By using old math, that is about a 157-percent Lindbergh school tax increase. All this data comes from the St. Louis County taxing office.

James W. Gilliam