R1 School District Jefferson County Property Tax Mill Levy Override Tax Hike

The R1 School District Jefferson County has signed a contract with a political operative firm to prepare and run the campaign strategy in preparation for a 2024 or 2025 ballot issue to increase property taxes through a Mill Levy Override (MLO).

A loophole in campaign finance laws allow governments to spend public money on a strategic political campaign if they do so before it technically is termed a ballot issue. The loophole needs to be closed.

The school district is funded through various revenue streams, including state taxes backfill to the school, ownership taxes on vehicles, federal taxes, several prior mill levy overrides, and the local required 27 mill property tax.

The R1 district just closed 21 schools due to declining enrollment.

In pursuit of this tax increase ballot issue, school board elected representatives have agreed to spend over $100,000 from taxpayer funds with Hilltop Public Solutions, a political specialist campaign firm. Their intent is clear when you read the scoring sheet they created in the process of awarding the contract.

Hilltop Public Solutions will be partnering with CRL Solutions to pave the way for this tax increase.

The R1 School District currently taxes property owners at a 45.452 mill levy rate, making it the largest line item on a property tax bill.

Yet, the school district wants more while student enrollment is declining and it’s unknown what the “performance promise” mill levy rates are producing.

If you’re concerned about a property tax increase in light of the skyrocketing property values, reach out to the R1 school board directors by email, phone, or testify at public comment.