After months of discussion and consideration, at the regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 22, the Lincoln County R-III Board of Education voted for the total levy to remain constant at $4.76.
“I am glad that we began discussions regarding our budget back in March so that the board can be confident that they are making the best decision for our stakeholders,” commented Dr. Mark Penny, superintendent of schools.
Ron Mills, president of the board of education, spoke favorably about the quality of data presented at Dr. Penny’s initiative by L.J. Hart & Company.
“We appreciate the extra efforts all of you made to keep the board better informed about the various options available,” Mills concluded.
In order to remain constant with the district’s previous constant total tax levy general policy, the board did approve a $0.3636 rollback from the operating tax levy to the debt service fund levy. Therefore, the debt service fund levy will be $1.6236 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation. It was noted that with the $0.3636 increase to the debt service levy, the district has the capability to prepay $2,025,000 of existing debt to save the patrons of the district $157,580 of future interest expense.
Based upon these projections, the adjusted debt service fund levy remains below the level suggested by the Missouri State Auditor’s Office on the Form C debt service levy calculation.
According to Ms. Buczkiewicz, assistant vice president at L.J. Hart, the district’s municipal bonding company, the total interest expense savings from twenty-two (22) general obligation refunding bonds since 1997 with a par value of $120,875,000 is $11,458,405.
“The Lincoln County R-III School District Board of Education and administration have capitalized on many opportunities to save the taxpayers of the district over $11,000,000 of interest expense since our firm began working with the district in 1997. This prepayment of $2,025,000 of existing debt will bring the total savings up to $11,615,985,” Ms. Buczkiewicz remarked.