MISLEADING PRESS RELEASE ON NEW TAX RATE for HOMEOWNERS

Headline in the Webster-Kirkwood Times: Real Estate Tax Rate Set 11 Cents Lower than 2014.  The benchmark offered by District Chief Financial Officer: “a difference of about $55/yr based on a home appraised at $250,000, providing the assessed value on a home remains the same."  Amazing Difference: Despite the rollback rate decrease caused by increase in computer-generated valuations again this year 60.3% will see an INCREASE IN this year’s tax bill!

The trigger for the rollback was that assessed values did not remain the same. Now the average increase is a mere $83/yr – maybe not shocking.  But 2,676 property owners will get an increase of $300. Furthermore, 1,166 unlucky owners will get a boost of $500, or more! Clearly the benchmark chosen was to put Prop A in a positive light and not to fairly inform the public.

MISLEADING ANOTHER WAY: “this has nothing to do with the proposed 78-cent proposed tax increase.” Wait! If most of our tax bills go up this year the roughly 20% increase, it has a lot to do with how we judge the impact on 7,842 homeowners and others for whom this is already a stressful increase.

The Kirkwood School District attempts to mask the fact they are riding the crest of a 10-year wave of revenue increases. They ask us to praise them when they obey the Hancock Amendment; this after they search for every dime they can get from with only vague justification. They chose an almost guaranteed low-voter election date the Tuesday after Halloween.