The School of the Osage held the line on its 2010-11 tax levy for the fourth consecutive year.

The board of education last week voted to set a tax levy of $2.72 per $100 of assessed valuation after a mandated tax levy hearing.  The hearing preceded the board’s regular monthly meeting.


The School of the Osage held the line on its 2010-11 tax levy for the fourth consecutive year.
The board of education last week voted to set a tax levy of $2.72 per $100 of assessed valuation after a mandated tax levy hearing.  The hearing preceded the board’s regular monthly meeting.
Superintendent Mary Ann Johnson said gradual increases in the district’s assessed valuation coupled with conservative budgeting have allowed the district to maintain the same rate for four years.
Included in the levy is 32 cents for the debt service fund, meaning the district’s actual operating levy is $2.40 — the lowest in the state.
“The reason we’ve been able to keep the rate low is the increase in assessed valuation and the frugality of the district,” Johnson explained. “We’ve been good stewards.”
The stable tax levy is especially good news in light of Eldon’s recent announcement that it will raise its levy to $3.496.
The district’s assessed valuation has increased every year since 2004 to $532,331,257. While personal property tax revenue declined last year, new construction amounted to $8,573,752 last year to help boost overall valuation. Johnson noted the figure was estimated before boards of equalization in Camden, Miller and Morgan counties convened to hear tax levy protests.
In a related decision, the board of education approved a resolution invoking Amendment 2 of the Missouri Constitution. It authorizes the district to increase its levy to $2.75 if necessary.

Drug policy
The board of education is taking a cautious look at developing a new drug policy.
Board member B.J. Page, representing the Planning & Achievement Committee, said the group met recently and decided to survey district parents to see if they want a policy and to garner information that would help the committee formulate a policy.
While she doubts a policy will be established by the second semester, she did state that parents will receive a survey via email in September. Much of the committee’s discussion has involved what questions to ask and how they should be asked.
Once the surveys are returned, the results will be analyzed in October and November and a policy formulated sometime after that.
Questions yet to be resolved are which grade levels/ages to test, whether to test extra-curricular students only or a mix of all students, how often students should be tested, etc.
The committee will obtain copies of drug policies from other districts to help them evaluate the process, questions, procedures and content.

Contact Dan Field at dan.field@lakemediaonline.com.