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Rockwood Schools Estimate Tax Rate Increase

The Rockwood School District this month announced its 2011 estimated tax rate, which is likely to increase district property tax payments made next year.

Owners of average-value homes within the Rockwood School District may be expected to pay about $5 more for this year's property taxes.

The Rockwood School District this month estimated the 2011 tax rate at $4.3216, which is an increase from last year's tax rate of $4.2752, Rockwood Chief Financial Officer Shirley Broz said in a news release.

In previous years, district representatives had decreased the tax rate as assessed values in residential property rose in St. Louis County because they are "sensitive to the challenging financial times taxpayers are facing," Broz said in the release. At the April 7 Rockwood board of education meeting, she emphasized the overall actions that the district has taken during the past five years has resulted in a cost savings of $22,374,160.

Broz stated the 2011 estimated tax includes an operating tax rate of $3.6416 and a debt service tax rate of 0.6800. She said the district voluntarily lowered its debt service rate 7 cents in 2008 due to an increase in assessed values from new construction, the early pay-off of the Chesterfield Valley Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District and increasing property values.

Previous years' tax rates were as follows:

2010 Actual Tax Rate  4.2752 2009 Actual Tax Rate  4.0083 2008 Actual Tax Rate  3.9232 2007 Actual Tax Rate  3.9987 2006 Actual Tax Rate  4.4177

State legislation requires school districts in reassessment years to project an estimated non-binding tax rate before April 8, so that taxpayers have information regarding how changes in their assessed values affect annual tax bills. During September, a public hearing will be held to approve the actual tax rate for the 2011-2012 school year.

The equation for the final rate this fall will reflect additional details not available presently, including current personal property assessed values and reductions in real property assessed values that result from property assessment appeals.

With this estimated increase, residential taxpayers with average home values of $247,955 would pay approximately $5 more in real property taxes to Rockwood for this year than they did for 2010. Broz said the difference is due to an average decline in residential property values of nearly 1 percent due to reassessments.

Tax rates for other nearby school districts, according to the St. Louis County Collector's Office:

SCHOOL DISTRICT 2010 RATE PERCENTAGE INCREASE OVER 2009 Normandy $6.25 6.79 Hazelwood $6.22 3.01 Webster Groves $5.58 14.74 Jennings $5.50 8.73 Riverview Gardens $5.18 8.05 Affton $5.03 6.18 Maplewood-Richmond Heights $4.99 21.77 Valley Park $4.72 3.33 University City $4.66 10.73 Ferguson-Florissant $4.62 0 Ritenour $4.62 8.28 ROCKWOOD $4.28 6.66 Kirkwood $4.19 2.51 Hancock Place $4.17 2.07 Pattonville $4.08 11.06 Clayton $3.74 3.17 PARKWAY $3.57 4.61 Mehlville $3.55 2.74 Brentwood $3.43 15.33 Bayless $3.28 2.18 Lindbergh $3.13 0 Ladue $3.10 4.03

Fenton-High Ride Patch Editor Dan Barger contributed to this report.

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