The Kirkwood School District recently approved new tax rates and the residential tax rate will drop roughly 51 cents from last year.

The 2019 residential tax rate for homeowners was set at $3.8361 per $100 of assessed valuation. That amounts to roughly $2,187 in taxes for a home in Kirkwood appraised at $300,000, according to Mike Romay, the district’s chief financial officer.

The Kirkwood School District receives very little state and federal funding, which means it must rely heavily on property tax revenue to educate its students. The district receives 92 percent of its revenue from local sources, the majority of which comes from property taxes.

Missouri’s Hancock Amendment limits the amount of property taxes that can be used to fund local government or local taxing jurisdictions such as school districts. Each year, school districts must set the new tax rate based on county assessments to make sure they aren’t collecting too much in property taxes.

“The state’s Hancock Amendment controls our tax revenue and our tax rates and is tied to the consumer price index, which is 1.9 percent for this year, so our revenues are permitted to increase 1.9 percent this year,” Romay said. “But since assessed values increased higher than that (1.9 percent), we have to reduce our tax rates.”

In addition to the residential tax rate dropping 51 cents, the agricultural tax rate is decreasing by 18 cents and the commercial tax rate is dropping by 66 cents.

District officials said although Kirkwood schools will receive roughly $628,609 in taxes from new construction this year, that revenue is offset because new homes are bringing in families, which is driving up the district’s enrollment numbers and operating costs.

The district expects to collect roughly $62.8 million in tax revenue for 2019, which is roughly $871,000 more than the previous year.

Community Forum

The district will host a community forum focusing on student health and wellness on Saturday, Oct. 5, 9 to 10 a.m., at the district’s Administrative Services Center, 11289 Manchester Road.

The conversation will be geared toward social and emotional wellness issues students are experiencing due to issues that originate in an online environment. District staff will also discuss the digital citizenship lessons that all students will take over the course of the school year.