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Patch Corrects Errors in School Tax Rate Reporting

Read the corrections to Wednesday's story about Mehlville School District tax rates.

Patch had two errors in Wednesday’s story about tax rates at Mehlville School District. The story, called “Mehlville Schools Tax Rate to Increase,” has been corrected, but this article is intended to highlight those errors so readers can find clarity.

The original story incorrectly listed the newly adopted 2012 tax rates for commercial real estate. The new tax rate is $3.5716. The rate in 2011 was $3.4372. We apologize for the error.

The article also incorrectly represented a proposal for tax rates presented by school board member Rich Franz. At Tuesday’s tax hearing, Franz moved to adopt the residential tax rate proposed by the school district ($3.6494) and to hold the agricultural, personal property and commercial rates at their 2011 levels, which were lower than the proposed 2012 levels. The story said Franz proposed to raise rates, which is not true. The residential tax rate for 2011 is $3.6634, which is $0.014 more than the 2012 rate of $3.6494 that both the school district and Franz proposed Tuesday night.

We apologize to Franz for misrepresenting his efforts.

On a personal note, as the lead reporter and editor of Mehlville-Oakville Patch, I apologize wholeheartedly for these errors. I won’t make excuses. I got the numbers wrong in a numbers-driven story, and for that and for any confusion or frustration that caused, I’m sorry. If there is more I can do or explain, please let me know.

Thank you to the Mehlville and Oakville residents who contacted me about this story. You can do that, too—anytime—by reaching me by email at Lindsay.Toler@patch.com or on my cell phone at 314-452-2641.

Karl Frank Jr. September 26, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Good work Lindsay, and way to get it right. :) Unfortunately there will always be confusion on tax rates and whether or not they equate to tax increases or not. The tax rate does not equate to whether or not your taxes go up or down. It's different for individuals based on whether or not their assessed valuation on their property went up or down more or less than the average for our taxing entity. For instance, my taxes can go down if my house is assessed at a lower rate than the average, but my mom down the street might have her taxes go up because her property was assessed at a higher valuation than the average. It's all the same to the Mehlville School District, but to each property owning resident it means something unique to them.
Liz September 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Thanks for the clarification.
Rich Franz September 27, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Lindsay, Thanks for the clarification and thanks for a very professional & classy apology.
Tracy wessel September 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I hate to point it out, but you also miss quoted David Wessel. He talked about the PTO of John Cary Early Childhood Center purchasing walkie talkies, books, casters for chairs, gym equipment, office supplies, and a laminator machine. No smartboards or projectors were mentioned by David. Nor where they purchased by the PTO. I just double checked the video at www.schooltube.com 2012-2013 tax levy hearing.
Karl Frank Jr. September 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Mehlville is a tough crowd and no one on any side has any patience factual inaccuracies. :) It's a lion's den. For what it's worth, some PTOs did buy smart boards for the majority if not all of their school's smart boards. Here is my son speaking at a town hall meeting about the inequity of technology access for children at Mehlville schools that weren't as lucky to have a local community with the socioeconomic status that can pick up the slack for the district: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvznvVz5uTw
Bob McKitrick September 27, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I am amazed by the support that the PTO's give Mehlville Schools. Don't take them for granted. As an educator, I can say that their generosity is unmatched in the St. Louis County area. Also keep in mind, that in low socioeconomic areas, a PTO can only do so much. It all depends on just how much money parents can afford to give. In short, Mehlville is very blessed to have such great PTO's. They are the exception to the rule - and one of the reasons why we can have such a top-notch education in our district while maintaining such a low tax rate.

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