This Tuesday local voters will decide on tax issues for the Warren County R-III School District and Wright City Fire Protection District.
Both taxing districts are seeking tax increases related to staffing needs. The taxes would be assessed on real estate and personal property.
Warren County School District is seeking a 39-cent increase per $100 of assessed property valuation. For a $150,000 home, that would mean an additional $111 per year.
The school district’s tax proposal is labeled Proposition W.
The school district says the extra funding would improve staff and faculty salaries, in hopes of reducing the district’s high turnover rate. There has been 15-20 percent turnover among teaching staff over the last three years, according to the district.
If the tax increase passes, school district officials hope to bring teacher salaries to within $3,000 of comparable positions in Wentzville School District. Other staff salaries would also be raised with Prop W.
More information about Prop W can be found at the school district’s website, www.warrencor3.org, under the “Our District” tab.
Wright City Fire Protection District is seeking an added 17 cents per $100 assessed property valuation to its tax levy.
That tax proposal is labeled Proposition S. For a $150,000 home it would add about $48 per year.
Fire officials say the funding will be used to preserve the jobs of six firefighters hired using a federal grant that ran out in early 2019. Without the funding, the district says it will have to scale back from four professional firefighters per shift to two firefighters.
Three previous Wright City Fire tax proposals have been rejected by voters, the most recent of which was turned down by a margin of 108 votes in Warren County last April.
Wright City Fire representatives and supporters are pushing for a higher than average voter turnout to this election.
“Traditionally this single-issue election has seen low turnout. So we’re hoping our supporters get out and voice their opinion,” said Fire Chief Ron MacKnight.
He said representatives have been making door-to-door visits with local residents. Community supporters have also been making an effort to visit and speak with their neighbors about the issue, and have gotten mostly positive feedback, Mac-Knight said.
But the result of the election may largely depend on how many people who are for or against the ballot issue actually show up to vote.
“We’re just hoping everybody makes an informed decision,” MacKnight commented.
Voters who come to fill out a ballot on Aug. 6 could be voting on one or both issues, depending on where they live.
There is some overlap between the boundaries of Warren County R-III School District and Wright City Fire Protection District, where residents will vote on both issues. However, many residents live within one district and outside the other, meaning they will vote on just the school tax or just the fire tax.
Only the tax (or taxes) that actually apply to a voter’s property will appear on that voter’s ballot.
Because the ballot issues are limited to specific areas, voters in some parts of southern Warren County don’t have any voting issues at all. Polling places in Dutzow, Lake Sherwood and Marthasville won’t be open Aug. 6, as there are no election items in those voting precincts.