Critics contend Francis Howell School District is asking for too -

Critics contend Francis Howell School District is asking for too much in proposed tax increase

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( – Many believe a proposed tax increase for the Francis Howell School District is asking too much from district taxpayers.

A 90 cent tax increase will be on the ballot August 4. The district said it is needed to maintain current class sizes, give students access to new technology and keep high quality teachers. 17,000 students make up the district’s population, making it one the largest in the state.

Some have criticized the proposed increase as too high and have also questioned the timing of the vote.

“You would be surprised at the number of people I talk to that don’t even know there is an election on August 4. Concern number is people knowing there’s an election, concern number two is that this is a significant tax increase, 20 percent. Are you aware of how much this will cost you in your taxes? Most people are not,” said former Francis Howell School Board Member Stephen Johnson.

The district is paying $270,000 to place the levy on the August ballot. Had the election been held in April or November, the cost would be cheaper. The school board approved putting the question on the ballot at its May meeting.

“At that time we considered our options and determined because August allowed us to have the funds available for the 2015-2016 school year. The move was in the best interest of the district,” said Francis Howell CFO Kevin Supple.

A November vote would mean funds would not be available until the following school year.

The district is holding an informational meeting on Prop Y at Francis Howell Middle School on Monday at 7:00 p.m.

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