Cape board leaves district tax levy rate unchanged

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Despite significant budget cuts, the Cape Girardeau School District's tax levy will not increase this year.

All but one of the six school board members voted Monday in favor of superintendent Mark Bowles' recommendation to maintain the levy at $3.99 per $100 assessed valuation.

School officials previously considered raising the levy by 7 cents per $100 assessed valuation to offset a state funding loss.

The move would have meant an additional $280,000 in tax revenue for the district, and cost the average $50,000 homeowner around $6.50 more in property tax per year.

"We have really weighed this issue carefully and have sought a lot of input from the district's supporters," Bowles said. "But there's a strong sentiment against raising taxes right now."

Dr. Steve Trautwein was the only board member to vote against Bowles' recommendation to keep the levy at $3.99.

Trautwein said he came to his decision after considering Bowles' plea to keep taxpayers in mind, versus the district's tight budget situation and what future funding cuts may mean for programs and staff.

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