We intend no disrespect to School Board members who are promoting more taxation and spending. But we believe it would be irresponsible to ignore misleading statements about revenue growth.
Simply put: Revenue has not been flat. It has been growing.
Our campaign will help voters make an educated decision on their personal taxation and district spending. We believe that normal, historic growth in residential and commercial real estate values is adequate to fund district operations without a tax increase.
It's incomplete, if not misleading, for district leaders to emphasize that there have been no tax rate increases for 10 years. Left unsaid is what has happened to revenue. School Board President E.J. Miller cited that 10-year period without a tax-rate increase in a letter to the editor in the May 8 Webster-Kirkwood Times. But what he didn't say was the district didn't need a rate increase because revenue had risen. Most school district residents, but not all, are paying more to the district than they were 10 years ago because of higher assessments.
The reality: Kirkwood School District property tax collections have grown by 64% from 2005 to 2015.
The chart below is taken from the district's 2015-2016 budget, Page 101. Click on the link below to go to that page.
KSD 10-Year Tax Collection: KSD 2015-2106 Budget, Preliminary, Page 102
A Huge Increase of Tax Revenue Relative to the CPI
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased by about 23% over the last 10 years. (The CPI measures the change in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.) The chart below compares Kirkwood School District spending to the CPI from 2005 to 2015 by percentage. (See the following link for an explanation of the CPI.)
Tax Increases for the Most Vulnerable
Hundreds of Kirkwood School District taxpayers depend on Social Security. Their property taxes have risen, and could rise significantly in the future if the tax increase passes, without a commensurate rise in their Social Security income. Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are governed by the CPI. Our analysis shows that of the district's 1,990 households with at least one member 75 years old or older, more than half -- 51.7% -- saw an increase in their property tax payments rise beyond the increase in their Social Security checks.