The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published February 28, 2018

Tax increases on April ballot

LAKE OF THE OZARKS – Voters in all three lake area counties will be voting on raising their own taxes in the upcoming April election, scheduled for April 3, 2018.

One issue that some voters will decide in all three counties (Camden, Miller and Morgan) is for the School of the Osage, which is seeking approval to issue $23,000,000 in general obligation bonds.

The ballot wording in all three counties says:

“Shall School of the Osage issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $23,000,000 for the purposes of improving safety and security and furnishing, equipping, renovating and constructing building additions to school facilities, including (1) constructing a new Early Childhood Center; (2) improving safety and security by reconfiguring traffic access, renovating office space, installing a secured entry and making general improvements at the Upper Elementary School; (3) renovating the auditorium, kitchen, locker rooms, music classrooms and constructing new classrooms at the High School; (4) renovating the existing fieldhouse at the High School to improve the concessions, locker rooms and a restroom area; (5) constructing a new fieldhouse at the High School which will also act as a storm shelter and will contain additional locker rooms, a training room, additional classroom space and a community room; (6) renovating the existing practice facility at the Middle School to provide for a competition soccer facility including outdoor seating and fieldhouse; and (7) enlarging the playground area and installing a service elevator at the Heritage Elementary School?”

The ballot also states that if approved, the property tax levy will increase an estimated 15 cents per $100 assessed valuation (from $0.549 to $0.699).

Those not dealing with the school tax may find themselves making the choice to raise their own taxes for fire districts.

In Camden County, the Mid-County Fire Protection District is asking those in its area to vote an increase of “not more than nineteen cents” per $100 assessed valuation.

The ballot wording says:

“Shall the Board of Directors of the Mid County Fire Protection District be authorized to levy an additional tax of not more than nineteen cents on the one hundred dollars assessed valuation to provide funds for the hiring of additional firefighters and for the support of the district?”

Those paying taxes to support the Osage Beach Fire Protection District (in Camden and Miller Counties) will also be asked to increase the tax money they give to the district.

“Shall the Board of Directors of the Osage Beach Fire Protection District be authorized to levy an additional tax of not more than fifteen cents on the one hundred dollars assessed valuation to provide funds for the support of the district?”

But the largest amount of money requested on the ballot is by the Northwest Fire Protection District which has two tax increases on the ballot. Voters can approve one, both or neither.

If both are approved, the property tax will increase by 60 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

The first question will raise the tax by 23 cents (per $100) and will be permanent.

“Shall the Northwest Fire Protection District of Camden, Benton, and Hickory Counties, Missouri be authorized to levy an additional tax of not more than 23 cents on the one hundred dollars assessed valuation to provide funds for the support of the District, including without limitation operational and personnel costs and ongoing maintenance, improvements, and acquisitions?”

The second question will increase the tax levy by 37 cents and lists more items the tax will be used for and a sunset period for the tax.

“Shall the Northwest Fire Protection District of Camden, Benton, and Hickory Counties, Missouri be authorized to levy an additional tax of not more than 37 cents on the one hundred dollars assessed valuation to provide funds for the support of the District, including without limitation the repair, renovation, replacement, construction and equipping of facilities and the acquisition, installation and equipping of fire engines, tankers and other equipment and apparatus, until the full payment of any obligations issued to provide financing or refinancing therefore has occurred, or until the end of tax year 2037, whichever occurs first?”

The Stoutland School district is seeking to raise taxes without actually asking to raise taxes. The clever wording on the ballot says:

“Shall the Board of Education of Stoutland R-II School District of Camden County, Missouri, be authorized to eliminate fully the reduction in the operating tax levy for school purposes as provided in Section 164.013, RSMo, as amended (Proposition C rollback)?”

The city of Laurie is asking voters in Camden and Morgan County to approve $1.6 million in revenue bonds for the waterworks system.

“Shall the City of Laurie, Missouri issue its waterworks system revenue bonds in the amount of $1,600,000 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, extending and improving its waterworks system, the cost of operation and maintenance of said waterworks system and payment of the principal of and interest on said revenue bonds to be payable solely from the revenues derived by the City from the operation of its waterworks system, including all future extensions and improvements thereto?”

Also included on the Camden County Ballot is the election of various representatives for tax entities (school districts, fire districts, cities and so on).

Besides the tax increases for residents of Osage Beach, the rest of the Miller County Ballot is filling elected offices throughout the county (school districts, fire districts, cities and so on).

Filling offices of multiple tax entities in Morgan County makes up the largest part of the ballot but two cities (Stover and Versailles) are asking voters to approve an increase in sales tax, with one going to the city fire department.

“Shall the city of Stover impose a city sale tax of one percent (1%) on the receipts from the sale at retail of all tangible personal property or taxable services at retail, subject to the sales tax imposed by the State of Missouri?”

Versailles is also asking for a sales tax increase.

“Shall the municipality of Versailles, Missouri impose a sales tax of one-quarter of one percent on all retail sales for the purpose of providing revenues for the operation of the Versailles City Fire Department?”

The full ballots for all three counties can be found on their respective websites under the County Clerk section. The web addresses of all three counties are:

Camden County: www.camdenmo.org
Miller County: www.millercountymissouri.org
Morgan County: www.morgan-county.org

The ballot for Camden County should be printed in this newspaper near the end of March.

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