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Front Page August 19, 2014  RSS feed

BISD Board hear concerns of those opposed the tax increase

By Sherry Matney


Gary Helmcamp represented the Helmcamp families and businesses when he expressed his opposition to the tax increase. Sherry’s Shots Gary Helmcamp represented the Helmcamp families and businesses when he expressed his opposition to the tax increase. Sherry’s Shots Two individuals signed up to speak at the Public Hearing - Budget and Proposed Tax Rate on August 18, 2014. In a room mostly filled with teachers and school staff, Gary Helmcamp and Rex Moore took the floor and voiced their concerns about the increase in tax rate.

After opening ceremonies Gary Helmcamp addressed the Board and said he was speaking on behalf of the Helmcamp families and businesses in the Buffalo School District, who have historically been the third or fourth largest tax payers in the district. He went on to say that in his opinion a tax increase is not needed. He said he owns 12 chicken houses and pays $14,000 per year in school taxes. He knows that there are many oth- er chicken farms coming into the district and will be paying the same amount or more. He also mentioned Tractor Supply and other businesses that will be future taxpayers.


Rex Moore said he represented some of the Moore family from Flo and was also opposed to the proposed increase. Sherry’s Shots Rex Moore said he represented some of the Moore family from Flo and was also opposed to the proposed increase. Sherry’s Shots Rex Moore was the next to take the floor and introduced himself by saying, “There’s not much I can add to that. I represent some of the Moore family from Flo. I’m opposed to a tax increase. I see no reason if we have a surplus now why do you want to increase the tax? How much revenue will it generate and what will you do with it?”

President Jennifer Humphries referred Moore’s questions to Superintendent Lacy Freeman who responded, “On a base of $430 million the increase will generate $43 thousand to be used for debt service only.”

Humphries asked if there were any questions and Helmcamp asked, “Why can’t you take some of the surplus and pay down the debt instead of raising taxes?”

Humphries responded, “We will. If you understand that it will only generate $43 thousand we still have to come up with the other. If we don’t act now we will use up that surplus very quickly. In 2002 we had a $2.2 million fund balance. It’s gone up about $1 million every year until 2009 then it’s gone down since then. We’re adding on to this building and we have this debt that we have to pay. When we do that it will bring us down to $2.7 to 2.9. This gets us down below the comfort zone.”

Board member Jack Helmcamp added “The reason its dropped is because we paid for a football field outright and we paid for baseball fields outright. So we spent the $4 million outright without increasing it.”

Gary Helmcamp said, “That goes back to what I was saying a while ago. You got extra money you’re gonna spend it on something. You’ve got a new football field, you spent a million dollars on a weight room. When you have extra money you’re gonna spend it.”

Humphries thanked the men for their time and said she understood their concerns and said the Board is extremely frugal. “We’ve got to do what’s best for the District and the kids. You guys voted us in and trusted us with this money and we have to show that we are good trustees with this money. It’s not just a rash decision.”


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