Prop 1 Tax Levy, Ten Facts You May Not Know

Know the facts about how the Prop 1 Tax Levy impacts your community schools.

Ladue School District has held several informational meetings thus far regarding Prop 1 tax levy and will continue to do so until it goes to vote on April 3, 2012. This is a time to ask questions and get answers.

For those of you who have been unable to attend, Patch has put together a summary of information given in those meetings.  All information was taken from the Ladue School District Prop 1 website.

It is up to you whether Prop 1 passes or not. But, consider this; the cost of the proposed tax levy is $7.76 per month per $100,000 (appraised value of a residence). That is basically the cost of one morning coffee and one muffin.

Voters ask the Ladue School District to tighten up their spending. Where can the residence of Ladue tighten their spending in order for children to receive the best education possible? A cup of morning coffee perhaps? You decide.

Top ten facts about Prop 1:

  1. Ladue School District has seen a nine percent decline in district revenue over the past five years, while they have realized significant increased enrollment and expenses. Even with $7 million cut from expenditures over the past four years, without Prop 1 passing, cuts to academic programming, staffing and student services will be significantly impacted.

  2. With Prop 1, the district can better maintain current staffing and programming levels and therefore maintain the highly competitive district for which Ladue School District is known.

  3. In a May/June 2010 report published in the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis publication REVIEW, stated that property values remain higher in areas with above-average schools. Residences within the school district who do not have children who attend Ladue Schools are still impacted positively.

  4. The Ladue School District believes that with the passing of Prop 1 the district will return to financial stability for two assessment cycles (four years), providing the economy does not weaken further.

  5. Without Prop 1 the district will need to cut up to $2-2.1 million more to balance the budget for the 2012-13 school year. Should this happen, the expenditure cuts will total equivalent of 19% of the district’s current annual expenditures.

  6. With Prop 1, the district will be able to avoid the additional cuts for the 2012-13 school year, which will have a significant impact on current staff, student services and educational programming.

  7. With Prop 1, existing programs will be maintained and moderately improved.

  8. With Prop 1, employee salaries can remain competitive with other districts, enabling retention of high quality staff.

  9. With Prop 1, current class size policies can remain in place. Without Prop 1, class sizes will increase to Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education guidelines in grades 3-12. (Grades K-2 will remain at the 2011-12 guidelines.)

  10. With Prop 1, the district will be able to open the new Fifth-Grade Center in the 2013-14 school year.

For more information about Prop 1 and how it will impact the Ladue School District, residents, students and the community go to the Prop 1 website.

The chart below uses rounded numbers that show the increase per month corresponding to appraised home value. For more specific information see Prop 1 website question and answer section.

Appraised Home Value

Increase Per Year

Increase Per Month

Per $100,000






$1 million




If Prop 1 does not pass, class sizes guidelines will increase to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines in grades 3-12. (Grades K-2 will remain at the 2011-12 guidelines.)

The following information puts this information in chart form:

Grade Level Ladue Schools Preferred Ladue Schools 2011-12 If Prop 1 Fails Kindergarten 17-19 22 22 1 17-19 22 22 2 17-19 22 22 3 17-19 24 27* 4 20-22 24 27* 5 20-22 27 30* 6 20-23 27 30* 7 20-23 30 33* 8 20-23 30 33* 9 Up to 23 30 33* 10 Up to 23 30 33* 11 Up to 23 30 33* 12 Up to 23 30 33*

* Indicates Department of Elementary and Secondary Education maximum guidelines.

MomOfThreeBoys March 22, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Fixed Income What does MICDS not having PE have to do with Prop 1? There is no mention of PE classes being cut at the high school level, and if you look at the MO graduation requirements, http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/sia/Graduation_Handbook_2010.pdf (Page 5), one credit of Physical Education is required for all students to graduate from Missouri public schools.
ForTheKids March 22, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Your example makes no sense... Reed is an elementary school. So 1.98 miles would definitely get a bus at Kirkwood school district. The only difference I see is a 1/2 mile more for Middle School and 1 mile more for High School. If you are suggesting going to Kirkwoods model I think a lot of us would not have an issue...but that wouldn't get you anywhere near 950,000 dollars.
CreveCoeurDad March 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM
All your carping about the state standard for buses completely misses the point that you are applying a rural standard to an urban environment. In case you hadn't noticed, Missouri is a largely rural state - applying a 1 mile standard to Texas or Dent county probably wouldn't make sense, although that has pretty much been the tradition for urban environments like St. Louis for as long as I can remember. Just because the state has a minimum requirement for bus service doesn't mean it is necessarily a good idea for an environment such as Ladue. That said, I could see some cuts, especially at the high school level where the buses can be pretty empty, but I seriously doubt you'll see any support for cutting elementary buses, where they are heavily used. Also, your assertion that the revenue decline is temporary is incorrect. It is permanent, due to the Hancock Amendment. The district is currently using their full authority to tax. Any increase in property values may only increase revenues by the rate of inflation, any excess increase means that the tax rate must be rolled back. Combine the two, and real, not inflated revenue is locked at the current rate. The only possible way to increase real revenue at that point is to have higher value buildings replace lower value ones or to increase the tax rate.
CreveCoeurDad March 22, 2012 at 06:40 PM
"If these 3 premises are true, then every school district in the state should need a tax levy increase. Why is this not happening?" Because other districts have not reached their tax rate cap and have retained the flexibility to up their effective tax rate and maintain revenue neutrality. Let's apply a few numbers to make this rather complicated concept more clear. Say we have two school districts, Dist. A with an authorized tax rate of $3.00 per $100 of assessed valuation ($3.00/$100) and Dist. B with an authorized rate of $4.00/$100. However, authorized does not mean that is what is actually charged. For various reasons, a district may actually tax at a lower rate. Say both districts actually charge $2.75/$100, and bring in revenue of $5M. Let's say there is only one type of property in these districts, assessed at 19% of market value, so that means there is $950M of property in each district. Now the bubble hits and the property is only worth $800M. Both districts will attempt to maintain revenue neutrality, so Dist. B is allowed to raise their actual rate to $3.29/$100, still below their cap, but maintaining the $5 million. Dist. A is capped at $3.00/$100 and sees it's revenue fall to $4.56M. If property values return to $950M,with no inflation, Dist. B will lower the rate back to $2.75 and still bring in $5M, but Dist. A must lower it's rate to $2.53 and only bring in $4.56M. Ladue is in Dist. A's situation.
cck March 22, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Fixed Income - There have been 11 meeting so far about Prop 1 to which the public has been invited. They are on the Prop 1 website. The 12th is Thursday, March 29 at 7 PM at the High School.


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