Columbia School Board Votes to Levy Taxes

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COLUMBIA - After a vote by the school board Thursday morning, taxpayers in the Columbia Public Schools district will see a .65 percent increase in school property taxes.

The board agreed unanimously to a new tax rate of $4.8812 per $100 assessed valuation.  District officials said that increase would amount to a $9.12 increase per year for the owners of a $150,000 home. This is a 3.2 cent increase from last year's rate of $4.8492. District officials said the new tax should generate about $1 million for Columbia Public Schools.

Linda Quinley, chief financial officer for the district, said that the money will, in part, be used for air conditioning projects in the district. Quinley said that central air conditioning in all Columbia schools is a high priority.

The Board also hopes that the revenue will go toward eliminating mobile classroom units. Superintendent Chris Belcher said Columbia residents should not expect to see a consistent increase in school taxes, but that this process "ebbs and flows" depending on many factors, including how much funding the state can provide.