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Declining Brentwood Property Values Prompt Prop K for Schools

The tax levy could be rolled back when current TIF projects are paid off.

The Brentwood School District will ask Brentwood taxpayers for more money in the April 2 general election.

Proposition K would increase the school district operating tax levy ceiling by 75 cents. That's about $83 per $100,000 of home value over the 2012 taxes levied. Based on the 2011 assessed values, the median home value in Brentwood was about $160,000. Prop K would add $133 over the 2012 taxes, or about $11 per month.

Brentwood Superintendent of Schools David Faulkner said declining property valuations are the reason. He said values went down for the first time in 2009. They dropped again in 2011, and the county assessor has told him to expect down values in 2013.

“When values goes down, we have to ask to raise the rate so we can collect a similar amount of money,” he said.

He said a high school English position, a middle school science, the district-wide social worker, the middle school intern and two teachers’ assistants at the elementary schools are all open positions currently not being filled. Building maintenance is also being deferred.

“We have been cutting back quietly for the past three years,” Faulkner said. “I’ve come to realize this year that we’ve been too quiet with the cuts.”

He said the security systems need to be updated, and the schools are two years behind on the technology replacement cycle.

“We’ve got kids using computers that are five, six, seven years old,” he said. “We will use a computer until it doesn’t work anymore, but being two years behind in the cycle, we don’t have the technology that matches the educational program we’re accustomed to.”

The goal is to generate enough money to last until 2019. That’s when current city projects under tax increment financing (TIF) will be completed.

No TIFs are rolling off this year. Brentwood Square will be off in 2014 and the schools will see revenue from that in 2015. The Villas will be completed in 2016. He said the largest is the Meridian, which will be completed in 2018, and the schools will see money from that in 2019.

Faulkner said when the new assessed valuation is added to the tax rolls, the taxpayers’ rate can be reduced.

See related in Patch:

  • Brentwood Basketball Captain Meredith McGrath to Major in Journalism
  • Brentwood Preschool Tuition Hike Approved
Mr. Completely February 28, 2013 at 12:31 PM
The chickens have again come home to roost in Brentwood, literally and figuratively. Mayor Kelly and his band of follow the leader aldermen spent years shoving Tiff’s down the throat of Brentwood residents. Oh what a great deal this giant box retail store will be for Brentwood, more exciting places to shop. Everyone lined up behind him to ram these half-baked deals through and those who spoke against the free money for wealthy developers were labeled as crack pots, nay Sayers, just plain bad people who didn’t care about the wonderful City of Warmth, we just weren’t smart enough to really understand how these wonderful “Tools” would benefit Brentwood long term. What a joke. OK Brentwood now its 5-10-15 years into these wonderful Tiff’s and when it’s all said and done the residential tax payer-home owner will pay the bill. Let’s all remember this latest example of failed leadership in Brentwood when it’s time to elect new leadership.
P. Marsden February 28, 2013 at 02:57 PM
The article is far from comprehensive on the topic. What is sad is that residents like "Mr. Completely" (?) believe everything they read, and then understand very little of it. Based upon his comments, well, ignorance is bliss I guess. So sad that people like this exist. Get out your pitchforks or study the facts like the rest of us.
Mr. Completely February 28, 2013 at 03:47 PM
YES P. Marsden! Your post could have come from the smoke & mirrors play book from Brentwood City Hall. You attack the person for their opinion, do not actually state your opinion, claim some intellectual high ground on the topic without adding any facts whatsoever. Your post was meaningless and a waste of time. You should run for mayor. The facts are that wealthy deveolpers were given rezoning of residential land to commercial use without having to pay the actual commercial land real estate tax for years. So the school is robbed of the bonanza of a tax increase that they didn't get because of the Tiff and now wants to raise the residential real estate tax rate on every home in Brentwood to increase revenue for the schools and fill the void created by the Tiff. If the recipient of the Tiff were paying the actual commercial real estate tax rate on their property then perhaps the schools would have adequate revenue without raising homeowner's tax rates. Your thoughs P.M. ????
TOOWARM February 28, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Lets do study some facts.. 1. Brentwood School Board has raised our rate 66% over the past five years. 2.Brentwood School Board now wants an additional 19%. 3. Penberthy negotiated a 3 year contract just months before his surprise retirement. Two reasons.. To pad his retirement from us , and the backlash on his $250 K salary... The Board would be laughed out of a tax increase request with this guy on the payroll. He was sacrificed. 4. Based on Brentwoods numbers , approx. 17% of the student population are nonresident non-paying students. Brentwood receives no state aid. Were does this money come from. Only, get one guess... 5.Our home values are down, yet our tax bills increase ( see 1 above) 6. This is a reassessment year the small increase they project will probably double as values will be adjusted up starting this year. 7. The $11 per month is coincidentally the net increase in Social Security after medicare increase applied. 8. Prop K passed by only 10 votes in 2002... Times were good, house values up.
Striek February 28, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Brentwood still on the lower end of school district prop tax rate -well below Webster Groves, M-RH, Affton http://revenue.stlouisco.com/Collection/YourTaxRates.aspx On non resident students - the district IS reimbursed, by the state. Read this http://www.brentwood.k12.mo.us/docs/vicc/FAQ2010.pdf rather than trusting the ramblings of fully anonymous internet posters. I am glad Brentwood participates in the VICC program. We have good schools. Besides the obvious and essential benefits to our children - they anchor our community. If your property values have gone down, imagine how low they would be with a bad school district. We've paid for BSD via property taxes for a decade before our children used the district, and hope to proudly pay them for decades more after they move on.
TOOWARM February 28, 2013 at 07:04 PM
I look out for me.. I don't have time to take care of the people in Webster, Affton, etc. I always chuckle when these comparisons are used for justification. Do you realize the average assessed valuation in Affton is probably one -third that of a Brentwood house. It takes two numbers in a equation to produce a product. I remember the good old days ( say 2002) when the justification was our houses wouldn't be worth as much without the school district ... oooooopppps .. won't work this year... i'm done......
Striek February 28, 2013 at 07:19 PM
I figured you look out for yourself -with the moniker and all, and putting forth blatantly false information (specifically #4 above) in support of your agenda. I also look out for myself - which is why I'm voting yes on K.
Jim Davis February 28, 2013 at 09:18 PM
It would be helpful for voters if we received more information about what costs are rising and where the money will be spent. The catch all statement that it will benefit our kids isn't specific enough. One of the areas mentioned is computers. How are computers improving the educational experience? Most households have computers, many more than one. I have had to purchase computers for my kids that have attended private high schools. I haven't been very impressed with how they are used. Bottom line is, tell me how giving the district more money is going to improve the overall quality of education.
P. Marsden February 28, 2013 at 10:17 PM
"Mr. Completely", my name is Penny Marsden, and I am an employee of a Furtune 500 company in St. Louis County, and you? I think that you are the one hiding out. My study of economic incentives goes deep, and I am familiar with many of the municipalities of St. Louis. For the record, my opinions were clear: the article is far from comprehensive, and people like you, based upon your comments, understand very little. Again, this is sad. As far as the lack of difinitiveness, within the article itself, the city of Brentwood has at least one TIF related development already paid off, and that is their Promenade. This shopping district should already be paying nice dividends to the school district and city alike. I believe that fact goes unreported or unquoted, one of the two. Historically, municipalites who have benefitted from TIFF's, such as Brentwood, vote to send excess funds from those taxing districts to entities such as the schools, when those funds are received. The Brentwood schoos should have already received hundreds of thousands of excess TIFF taxes, collected above estimates. This fact goes either unreported or unquoted. Those of the pitchfork mentality, shoot first - ask questions later, usually have troubled lives. It makes sense to do your research before jumping to your guns. But, then again, ignorance IS bliss. Most municipalities whose residents have benefitted from TIFF developments don't realize that the taxes they DON'T PAY are due to TIFF's.
Doug Miner February 28, 2013 at 10:27 PM
David Faulkner, as superintendent, is limited in what he can say. A group outside the school administration has formed to educate about Prop K. I'm sure you all will hear more details from them in the future.
Karen Smith February 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM
P. Marsden I too have watched these TIFs and I am interested in the facts you might have to share as I do feel our Schools have suffered from this economic development tools. I have been against these economic tools such as TIFs for many reasons, one of which it that it diverts much needed revenue from the Schools; the Schools are not able to benefit from the increased property values for years -- rather the developers benefit. And although Brentwood has one TIF paid off (the Promenade) it was not paid off until just recently; revenues were diverted for years. And we still have 4 more to go. I believe one of the developments funneled excess funds to the Schools...but I believe it was only for one year. So I am not sure that our Schools have really benefited from all of the development in Brentwood as of yet. The lack of transparency around these vehicles is also problematic.
Mr. Completely March 01, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Jees….if the Tiff’s were the panacea that they were represented to be would we be having this discussion? Brentwood resident have outsourced their thinking on fiscal matters to people who claimed to be experts and knew more than we did. Now homeowners must take on extra real estate taxes in the face of declining home values to support our schools while wealthy developers have been given a pass. Seems like the experts were wrong. Vote no on all new taxes, bond issues, whatever until new leadership is in place.
W March 01, 2013 at 06:53 PM
If property values are down how is it my appraisal is up every 2 years as well as my tax bill?
Doug Miner March 03, 2013 at 03:56 AM
Hey folks, David Faulkner is hosting Q&A on Prop K on Tuesday at the district headquarters. >> http://patch.com/E-vf06
Liz O'Brien Ault March 08, 2013 at 03:43 AM
I've already voted. No, No, No. Only 3 things on ballot. I've lived in Brentwood 30 years, and the family I married in to has been here for 60 years. Let's destroy homes in the "hollow" for Promenade - will help pay taxes and reduce mine, What a joke. I agree with those that say vote NO on anything that will increase prop taxes.

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