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Francis Howell School District

Prop Y Frequently Asked Questions

What is a tax levy?
A tax levy is the tax rate used to calculate the amount of property tax revenue the school district will receive. The rate is
used in conjunction with the assessed value of property. For every $100 of assessed value, the District receives the
amount of the levy.
What percent of the vote is required to pass a tax levy?
Prop Y requires a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) to pass.
How will the ballot language read? What will voters be voting on?
Shall the Board of Education of the Francis Howell School District be authorized to increase the operating tax levy for the
purpose of providing funds to preserve class size and maintain high student academic performance; attract and retain
high-quality teachers; improve student and staff safety and security; increase technology for students; improve and
maintain District facilities; and fund ongoing operating expenses by 90 cents per one hundred dollars of assessed
valuation? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted operating levy of the school district is estimated to be $5.2318 per
one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.
Why are you asking for 90 cent tax increase? What does 90 cents mean to FHSD?
The Board of Education and Administration have determined that 90 cents is what is needed to provide the resources to
continue the high quality educational programs and to fund annual operating expenses of the District. The 90 cents will
provide approximately $20 million additional revenue to the District.
What will Prop Y cost the average homeowner?
Less than a dollar a day.
Francis Howells tax rate was recently reduced by 20 cents. Why did the District lower the tax rate, if it needed the
In 2008, the voters approved a five-year extension of the 20 cent Special Purpose Levy. The District promised voters to
lower the tax rate and let the Special Purpose Levy expire.
Francis Howells tax rate was recently reduced by 20 cents, how does that relate to the need for Prop Y?
The loss of the 20 cent Special Purpose Levy means the District is collecting over $4 million less property tax revenue,
starting with 2014-15 school year. Prop Y will help close the funding gap and provide resources to maintain and improve
our programs and services.
Why August? Why now? When will this take effect?
An August election allows the District to receive the new funds beginning with the 2015-16 school year, reducing the
impact of the current budget deficit. If approved, the new rate will be used when the District calculates its tax rate in
What will happen if the tax levy increase is not approved?
If the community fails to support the tax increase, the District will be forced to make significant cuts that will impact our
students. The number of teachers and support staff will be reduced (as many as 200 in the next two years), technology
for students will not be replaced and supports for struggling learners will be eliminated.
What steps has FHSD taken to ensure fiscal responsibility/save money?
For the coming school year (2015-16), the District reduced personnel expenditures by $4.2 million and non-personnel
expenditures by $4 million. This is in addition to several million dollars in reductions made in previous years. The Board of
Education rolled back 25 cents of the levy for six of the last 11 years saving the taxpayers more than $30 million.
Is this request being made because of poor financial management?
No. Until the 2014-15 budget, the District has been able to end each fiscal year with some level of surplus. Major factors
causing a change this year include the loss of $4.5 million generated annually by a Special Purpose levy that expired.
Additionally, District property tax revenue has been stagnant for the past six years due to negative reassessment values.
State aid has not increased as promised.

When was FHSDs last tax increase?

The last tax increase was 89 cents per $100 assessed valuation approved by voters in 2004.
What is a voluntary rollback?
A voluntary rollback is a term used to describe the action taken when a taxing body such as the school district does not
levy or charge the fully approved and taxpayer authorized tax rate. The Board of Education rolled back 25 cents of the
levy for seven of the last 11 years saving the taxpayers more than $30 million.
Why did the District rollback 25 cents if it needed the money?
The Board of Education believes in only asking the taxpayer for what the District needs. Through good financial
management and well-constructed budgets, the Board of Education was able to reduce the amount of taxes needed to
fund the District.
FHSD teachers and staff received raises. Why not freeze salaries?
The increases for staff for the 2015-16 school year are part of a 2-year agreement with the employees. The teacher salary
increases were tied to an increase in the number of contract days. These additional days are being used for professional
development so that our teachers are best prepared to provide our students with high quality instruction.
How will class size or staffing levels impact District accreditation?
Class sizes impact the success of each student. Fewer staff leads to a higher number of students in each class and
ultimately impacts student performance. The Districts accreditation is based on student performance.
Do we have less staff than we did 11 years ago?
We have fewer teachers (and overall staff) for 2015-16 than we had 11 years ago. We will have 150 fewer staff in 2015-16
than we did in 2008-09.
Why are my property taxes higher than my friends in neighboring communities?
Francis Howell receives the majority of funding from three major sources: property taxes, state sales tax and basic state
aid. The majority of our revenue comes from property taxes. The Francis Howell community has many homes but a
limited amount of commercial businesses that pay property tax.
What percentage of property taxes pays for schools?
Approximately 68% of an individual homeowners tax bill is allocated to supporting schools. The remaining portion of the
taxes collected are used for fire, ambulance and park services.
How will our community benefit from passing this tax levy?
The school district in each community is an important part of maintaining high property values, providing well prepared
students and keeping the community attractive to outside businesses. High quality schools are one of the key components
people look for when moving into a new community.
What happened to the casino tax revenue that was supposed to help the schools?
The District does receive funds from gaming and the lottery. However, the amount of General Revenue from the state has
decreased, so school districts have not received any significant additional new revenue as a result of casinos and the lottery.
Did we receive all of our money from Normandy?
The District received all of its tuition money for the 2013-14 school year. Normandy is current on its payments for the
2014-15 school year.
Will senior citizens get a tax break?
The Missouri Property Tax Credit Claim program provides credit to certain senior citizens as well as 100% of disabled
individuals for a portion of their tax bill. More information can be found at
What does the tax levy mean to homeowners without children in FHSD schools?
The tax levy increase will apply to all homeowners within the Francis Howell School District boundaries, including those
without school-aged children. It is important for a community to maintain high quality schools as it affects the property
value of every homeowner.
What if my question was not addressed in the FAQ?
The District has setup an email address at for the community to submit additional
questions. Also, please check back frequently for more information at our website under Community and
Prop Y or use the following web address
Paid for by the Francis Howell School District