Keep Improving De Soto Schools
Proposition KIDS is a .25 cent tax increase beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, and a permanent shift of .25 cents from debt service to the operating levy in the 2025 tax year. As a result, a total of .50 cents would be available starting in 2025 and generate approximately $1,140,000 annually. A successful passage of the ballot measure will allow us to use half of the funds, $570,000, for the maintenance and upkeep of district facilities and the other half of the funds to improve our ability to attract and retain quality certified and support staff; items our students need and deserve.
Why does the district need community support to achieve these measures?
First, our schools as they stand today are in need of critical repairs estimated at over 8.5 million dollars. Addressing the heating and cooling replacement at each school, replacing roofs at each of our buildings, and replacing outdated technology and infrastructure is beyond the capacity of our annual district budget. We could use help from our community for these repairs as well as for needed items like replacing our stadium bleachers that failed inspection due to the overall condition of our grandstands. Our students deserve facilities that are conducive to and promote learning; this ballot measure is a necessary step to reach those goals.
Is this a tax increase? Does the tax become permanent?
As the language reads, we are looking at an operating increase of fifty cents. Twenty five cents would be a tax increase to the operational levy starting in the 2022-2023 school year. The other twenty five cents is currently being used to pay off debt and would be available to be moved in the school year 2024-2025. This is twenty five cents our tax payers are currently paying and would permanently extend past 2030 when the debt is currently projected to be paid.
What has been done to avoid a tax increase?
As a district, we have strived to reduce waste and maximize savings in order to stretch every taxpayer dollar. Our Board of Education has taken advantage of strategic financing options with lower interest rates, saving $11,496,916 in taxpayer dollars over the last twenty years. Although grants are only a one time funding source, we have also taken advantage of multiple grants when available and have received over one million dollars over the past few years. Over the last ten years, we have reduced 38 positions, 29 of these have happened in the past five years as a result of right sizing the district based upon student enrollment numbers.
What is the average cost per household?
According to the United States Census, the average median value of a house in De Soto is $112,200. An individual with a $112,200 house would pay approximately $53.30 a year or $4.44 per month based upon a .25 cent tax increase.
Why is there a need for a ballot measure?
In order to make these changes, a simple majority of voters needs to agree. Our Board of Education approved a resolution for a special school election to be held on April 5, 2022 for the purpose of asking our community to pass Proposition KIDS.
What is the official ballot language?
Proposition KIDS (Keep Improving De Soto Schools)
The Schools We Need Now For The Future We Want.