Columbia School Board\'s tax levy goes up slightly

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COLUMBIA – Property taxes will be a tad higher for homeowners in Columbia, thanks to an increased tax levy rate from Columbia Public Schools.

The increase is a little more than a penny, which will work out to about $3 to $5 more for homeowners.

Community Relations Director Michelle Baumstark says it’s both needed and feasible.

“The local tax base is what supports public education in Columbia,” she said. “The increase is well within what we are authorized by our voting community to do.”

“There’s a number of funds that go into the tax levy. Debt service, operations, incidentals, capitol projects. And all of those make up the total rate that is set.”

Columbia being a college town also affects the rate.

“A lot of the property within Columbia is actually not taxable property.”

Chief Financial Officer Anna Munson said the influx of students making purchases can also increase sales tax.

“The higher the sales tax revenue is, the potentially lower property tax rate could be,” she said.

Both Munson and Baumstark said these are just one of the many components that go into setting a tax levy rate each year.

“A lot of those components are designed to keep it fairly stable,” Munson said. 

Munson said it's nearly impossible to predict how it will fluctuate in future years.