What is a levy?
A levy refers to the act of approving a tax to raise money to build and improve public resources. Counties often ask voters to approve levies to improve roads and bridges to ensure citizens are able to travel on roads that help maintain property values, keep their families safe, and minimize wear on personal vehicles.
School districts are limited in how they can raise the amount of money needed to build and improve schools. In Missouri, a levy is one of the most common ways schools are able to finance the construction of schools. Students depend on the residents that live in the areas that surround their schools to help provide safe and adequate facilities.
The process of creating a school levy begins with research to determine the cost of the levy needed based on, among other things, building costs, property, and student materials. Then, if the levy is approved by voters, property owners within the district’s boundaries will share the cost of the investment in the district’s students according to the value of their property. The county will then use the money raised to fund the construction of a new school building for its students.
Why is the Neosho School District asking the community to vote yes on April 7th?
This levy is essential in providing safe and appropriate facilities for students in the Neosho School District. A “YES” vote will allow Neosho to accomplish the following initiatives:
- Provide storm shelters at four schools and finally ensure all Neosho’s students have a safe place in the event of inclement weather. (Locations include Benton Elementary, Central Elementary, Field Early Childhood Center, and Neosho Middle School). This portion of the project would be funded by the levy increase.
- Expand early childhood education to Benton Elementary. Due to limited facilities, Neosho is currently serving less than 1/3 of eligible early childhood students. The storm shelter addition at Benton would allow the district to serve an additional 80 students each year.
- Construct a community performing arts and events center. Neosho has long outgrown the current auditorium located in the high school. This portion of the project would be funded by the levy increase.
- Build a community multipurpose End Zone Facility. This portion of the project would be funded by the levy increase.
- Update restroom, concessions, and locker room facilities at the high school football field. This portion of the project would be funded by the levy increase.
- Update the salary schedule for Neosho faculty and staff to provide more competitive salaries to recruit and retain high quality educators and staff members. This portion of the project would be funded by a Proposition C waiver.
How much would the levy cost me?
If this ballot issue is approved, the owner of a house with an appraised value of $100,000 (with an assessed value of approximately $19,000) would pay property taxes to the school district of approximately $74.00. (For information specific to your home or property use the calculator below).
This investment in Neosho’s students, faculty, and facilities results in an increase of less than $4 per month. A “Yes” vote on April 7th communicates the value you place on the young people of Neosho and the teachers who devote their professional lives to the future of the Neosho community.
To find out specifically how much you would be investing in the students of Neosho with your “YES” vote, you can contact the Newton County Assessor’s Office at 451-8258. The image below can help provide a rough estimate based on variables that affect property taxes.