The Taney County Times editor Kurt Lewis reported an increase in the Branson R4 School District valuation means a tax approved by voters in April will likely be rolled back. To stay competitive, the Branson area school district massively increased teacher salaries and levied a tax to keep Branson schools at the top of Missouri's list of best school districts.
The Branson R4 school district has long been recognized as one of the finest in the state. Funding from Branson bustling tourism economy makes this possible. Because Branson R4 schools receive more than 50% of their funding locally, they have no-fault status - which some speculated was the reason the tax increase was necessary.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and low property valuations were cited as being problematic for the district. To Superintendent Dr. Hayter's surprise, valuation increase 22% from $522 million to $637 million.
In Lewis's article, Taney County Commissioner James Strahan was cited as telling Taney County Commissioners 11% was from an increase assessed valuation and the rest of the increase was from new construction.
Most school districts with minimal commercial withing their taxing zones have to pay higher personal property taxes. Residential property means more bodies and typically defines a deficit - that is, the taxes paid on a home for a family with three kids doesn't meet the financial burden of the school. In contrast, commercial property provides funding without creating an increased burden on classroom capacity.
The R4 school district receive 75.6% of funds from local sources in 2006 - 17.2% from the state and 7.3% from Federal sources.
The 45 cent levy increase will likely be rolled back by 15 cent per $100 assessed valuation from $3.90 to %3.75