FAQ Question of the Week

Q. Why is the current allowable eight point seven five cents collected rate stated on the April ballot when the voted twenty cent voted rate was mentioned on the November ballot?

A. Several years ago, the library received an Attorney General opinion that ballot issues must state the voted levy amount on ballots seeking a levy increase. The collected rate may change annually, including after the ballot is certified, but the most recent voted rate remains the same until voters change it. That opinion, followed on the November ballot, was a completely legitimate and legal option. Since then, our bond attorney’s search of current laws revealed no statutory requirement to state the voted rate. Senate Bill 711, a wide-ranging Missouri property tax law passed in 2008, is still being interpreted. Both SB711 and the public opinion survey favor mentioning the collected rate, even though it is flexible and changing. That is the wording on the April 2010 ballot. Like the November 2009 ballot, the wording is a completely legitimate and legal option. Although we explained the difference in voted and collected rates at every opportunity, we hope this will be clearer to voters.

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