Now is not the time for NEVC to go into debt for a new school
We would like to start off by saying we fully understand the reality of NEVC's need for a new school. Having a new facility would be a cost savings on energy and consolidating two buildings into one. However, we do not believe that in the current economic climate that now is the time to go into debt; obligating tax payers to the highest school tax rate in the county and surrounding area. The front page of the March 30, Joplin Globe has interviews with several school superintendents who are cutting costs now to brace for the state's budget cuts that are not just likely, but are an impending reality.
When the two school districts were combined in 1996, they went under Schell City's accreditation. Schell City had already voted and passed the 80 cent Proposition C rollback that allows the school board to access to another 80 cents in tax revenue. The school board had chosen not to increase our taxes with this Prop. C rollback until after the election in 2008.
At that time, they did increase our taxes. According to the Vernon County Clerk's office, from 1997 to 2009 the NEVC school board has passed up on $991,316.73 in tax revenue that could have been used over the past 12 years to repair building problems and increase teacher's salaries. Instead, the school board chose to keep our taxes low and allow the school buildings to deteriorate.
The state of Missouri's budget is the worst it has been in many, many years. So far, education has been spared, but the governor has asked the legislators to cut another $500 million from next year's budget.
To think that the NEVC's operating budget is safe from any state funding cuts is extremely naive.
We feel that we cannot support the proposed NEVC tax-bond issue for the following reasons:
* 1. The lack of fiscal responsibility the board has exhibited over the past 12 years by not utilizing already approve tax money to maintain the current buildings.
* 2. The lack of understanding that the board has exhibited in thinking that they are immune to state budget cuts.
We are concerned about the passing of this bond issue during these difficult economic times and feel that our tax dollars will continue to not be managed effectively. Therefore, we will not be voting in favor of Proposition S.
Mr. and Mrs. Craig Gund