The Excelsior Springs School District of Clay and Ray counties has made a good case for voters to approve Proposition T, a tax issue that would not cause voters to pay more in taxes than they pay now.
We endorse the issue.
Under the proposal that voters will address at the polls June 2, the public could extend the existing tax levy to bring in another $23.5 million.
More importantly for many taxpayers is that, if voters approve this question, then the district’s debt service property tax levy would remain unchanged at $1.1453 per $100 of assessed valuation for real and personal property. For many years to come, tax bills from the district would stay the same as they now are to retire the debt service levy.
If passed, then the new funds would be used for a bond issue. The money would pay for several worthy projects, including building another elementary school and making improvements to Elkhorn Elementary School in Ray County, the middle school, the high school and the early childhood education center.
In addition to construction and improvements being made across the district, free school bus service for all pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade students would result if Prop T passes, Superintendent Dan Hoehn said. Excelsior Springs School District, like many others in Missouri, requires students living within a mile of their schools to find their own ways to the buildings. The situation can be difficult for parents who struggle with juggling the tasks of getting children to school and getting themselves to work, especially in areas that lack sidewalks or where children have to cross busy streets. The district would be able to increase bus service based on savings derived from no longer having to do as much maintenance on aging buildings.
To be abundantly transparent, if approved, then the existing levy would be extended by 11 years, making the total life of the levy 20 years. If denied, then the levy would end in nine years, and few, if any, proposed improvements would occur; however, the district would have the option to ask voters in future elections to extend the levy.
In our opinion, what is on the table now is necessary to address issues of growth and inevitable building deterioration. The prospect of dragging out the funding process by forcing more elections is unnecessary and would waste tax dollars on continuing maintenance while being a completely avoidable roadblock to district progress.
Our families and our business, like many others, pay taxes to the Excelsior Springs School District. We will vote yes June 2 for Prop T.
We encourage you to vote yes on T, too.