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story.lead_photo.caption California High School Photo by David Wilson / California Democrat.

The Moniteau County R-1 board of education set the tax rate for the current year at its Aug. 21 meeting.

With three counties encompassing the district — Moniteau, Cole and Cooper — the district collected the assessed valuation from each to calculated the operating levy and the debt service levy.

The operating levy was set at 2.8626. This rate, Superintendent Dwight Sanders said, will provide enough revenue to operate the district's budget for the year.

The debt service levy was set at 1.1355, a number Sanders said would be "sufficient to move forward" with a $10.75 million bond capacity this coming April. Sanders said the option to set the debt service levy higher was credible, yet he wished to keep the levy the same as in 2014 when voters approved the previous bond. The total levy is 3.9981.

In conjunction with setting the tax rate, two options for handling the April 2020 bond issue were discussed by two representatives from LJ Hart & Company.

The first option was to visit a prepayment and why it is needed to justify the debt service levy at 1.1355. A prepayment of $350,000 was suggested to prepay for the upcoming bond. The representative said with the prepayment and the revenues coming in from the debt service levy, there was $1,360,000 in the debt service account by June 31. This amount was just enough to make the payment for the following year, or just under $1.2 million. The representative also said the district is in "great condition" to pursue the tax levy with the increased bond issue.

The second item to discuss was refinancing the current bond. There is currently $3.7 million remaining on the 2014 bonds. The board made a motion to choose the accelerated plan. This pushes principal forward to an interest savings that will keep the overall payments the same. With this, the final payment of the bond currently sits at $600,000, but with the accelerated plan, that number drops to $350,000 in order to realize interest savings on the back end rather than each year. The accelerated plan will save more interest expenses by pushing the principal forward.

In other business, the board approved Dead Week for the summer of 2020 as June 27-July 5.

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