2023 Levy Ballot Measure
The Independence School District’s Levy Ballot Measure passed on August 8, 2023 with a 70% approval rating.
This measure allows the district to increase operational funds, which will:
- Improve staff salaries & benefits
- Create additional staff positions
- Help fill hard-to-staff positions
How does it work?
The Independence School District is funded through a combination of federal, state, and local funding (i.e. property taxes). Local property taxes are utilized by the school district through an Overall Tax Levy Fund that is made up of two parts, the Debt Service Tax Levy and the Operating Tax Levy.
The August 8, 2023 Levy Ballot Measure asked if the ISD can raise the Operational Levy 20 cents, which increased money available for salaries & benefits.
The Board of Education will not increase by the maximum of 20 cents, but instead has committed to only increase the Operating Levy 8 cents.
The district will lower the Debt Service Levy 40 cents. This will mean a decrease to the Overall Tax Levy of 32 cents, resulting in the district’s levy going from $5.4371 to $5.1171.
The question language on the August 8, 2023 ballot appeared as follows:
“Shall the Board of Education of The School District of the City of Independence, Missouri be authorized to increase the operating tax levy ceiling to $4.3190 per $100 of assessed valuation according to the 2023 assessment for the purpose of increasing salaries and benefits for employees?
“If this question is approved, the operating tax levy of the District is estimated to increase by $0.20 per $100 of assessed valuation, and the District expects to make a voluntary reduction to its debt service tax levy by $0.30 per $100 of assessed valuation resulting in the estimated overall tax levy of the District to be decreased by $0.10 per $100 of assessed valuation.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a property tax levy or levy?
A property tax levy or levy is the amount of property tax dollars a school district
requests as one of its primary sources of funding. A levy must be passed by voters in a school district. In the ISD, the Overall Tax Levy is divided into two parts: Operating Levy and Debt Service Levy.
What is an Operating Levy?
What is a levy ballot measure?
A ballot measure is an issue or question that appears during an election for voters of a jurisdiction to decide. The ISD Board of Education approved the ISD adding this proposed levy change to the ballot for a special election on August 8, 2023.
Why is the ISD putting a levy measure on the ballot?
Why is an Operating Levy important for a school district?
Property taxes are one of the primary funding sources for school districts. A district relies on a property tax levy, either through extending a current levy or by a levy increase, to match revenues with increasing expenditures such as employee salaries and benefits, services, and materials.
What is a Debt Service Levy?
What is a levy rate?
A levy rate is the amount of property tax per $100 of assessed property value to fund a voter-approved levy amount. A levy rate of $1.00 means that for every $100 of property value, the owner of the property will have to pay $1.00 in taxes.
What is the ISD’s current tax levy rate?
What does the August 8th, 2023 ballot measure + ISD BOE commitment propose?
The August 8th, 2023 ballot measure asks voters to give the ISD Board of
Education the authority to raise the Operating Levy 20 cents. If the measure
passes, the BOE will only actually raise the Operating Levy 8 cents.
The ISD BOE has committed to lowering the Debt Service Levy 40 cents. This will
not increase the interest rate on the district’s debt, nor will this move cause the
district to default on its debt.
The approval of the levy ballot measure and the BOE’s commitment will result in an
Overall Tax Levy decrease of 32 cents. The ISD’s Overall Tax Levy will go from $5.4371
Proposed 2024 Fiscal Year:
Operating Levy $4.1190 (+ 8 cents) $4.199
Debt Service Levy $1.3181 (- 40 cents) $0.9181
Assessed Valuation $1,635,110,960 (prior to the outcome of current AV protests)
Why is the ballot language different from what the BOE has committed?
How much will this ballot measure (increase to the operating levy)
generate for the Independence School District to use for staff raises?
We estimate this will generate between $9 and $10 million. This will be dependent
upon the final property tax revenues received once the county has completed all
Board of Equalization appeals.
If the ballot measure is approved and the BOE upholds its commitment, how will the funds be used?
If the ballot measure is approved and the BOE upholds its
commitment, when will district staff see salary increases?
Salary increases would begin for the 2024-2025 school year. Salary schedules will be finalized in the Spring of 2024 once negotiations are completed with each of the unions.
How does the ISD’s tax rate compare to other school districts?
What will happen if the levy ballot measure is not passed on August 8, 2023?
Due to the high number of Assessed Valuation protests that are occurring, if this
does not pass, the ISD will likely receive less in tax revenue than it did in the
2022-2023 school year.
Independence School District, 201 N Forest Ave, Independence, MO 64050