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Breaking down the ballot: Issues to know before hitting the polls

Voters will have highly contested issues to decide on when casting their ballots. (File)

Here's a brief summary of major issues some voters will find on their ballots August 7.

Proposition A "Right-to-Work":

A highly contended proposition on the August 7 ballot is the issue of right-to-work.

Lawmakers last year approved legislation saying workers could not be required to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Former Governor Eric Greitens signed it into law.

Before it could take effect, organized labor gathered more 300,000 signatures to put the issue before the voters.

A "yes" vote will put the law as approved by lawmakers into effect. A "no" vote will kill it.

For more information on what Proposition A and what the vote means in Missouri, click here.

Fulton Public Schools Proposition K:

This would raise the school district's property tax levy by 57 cents, to $3.89 per $100 assessed value. The district says for a home valued at $100,000, this would mean an extra $108 in property taxes every year. Superintendent Jacque Cowherd says this would yield an extra $1.2-1.3 million in annual revenue.

The extra money would be split between teacher salaries, which are currently the lowest in the conference, and mental health services for students. An MU grant funded an expansion of those services about three years ago. The grant expires in November.

A "yes" vote means the tax hike goes into effect. A "no" vote means it doesn't. It requires a simple majority to pass.

If the measure fails, Cowherd says the district will continue to provide the expanded mental health services, but the money will have to come from elsewhere in the budget.

The district has not asked for any new tax revenue since 1996. Voters agreed in 2003 to let the district reallocate its existing tax revenue, but that measure didn't lead to any tax increases.

For more information regarding this proposition, click here.

Columbia Proposition 1:

The proposition would authorize Columbia Water & Light to issue $42,845,000 in bonds to pay for a series of water projects, including $23 million worth of improvements to the water treatment plant. The last bond request was $38 million in 2008.

If the measure passes, customers' water rates would go up a total of 11 percent by 2022. This would mean an extra $2.71 per month for the average residential customer. There will be no tax impact.

A "yes" vote puts the bond into action. A "no" vote would cause the city to raise rates enough to fund each project in its entirety prior to construction.

For more information on the issue, click here.

Lake Fire Board Bond Issues:

Both Lake Ozark Fire and Mid-County Fire Protection Districts are asking for an additional property tax increase, issues to be voted on the August ballot.

Previous ballots have failed before.

The Lake Ozark Fire Protection District is asking for the additional property tax of 30 cents per $100 primarily for ambulance services. Fire Chief Mark Amsinger said the funds would help buy a third ambulance, replace old equipment and hiring six new personnel.

The Mid-County Fire Protection District has a similar issue on their ballot, requesting an addition property tax of 19 cents per $100 to hire more firefighters.

The fire protection district only has three full-time firefighters. The additional funds from the property tax could hire six more full-time employees and purchase additional equipment.

A "yes" vote would implement the property tax, a "no" vote would reject it.

For more information on how this could impact the fire protection districts, click here.

Fayette Proposed Tax Levy:

A tax levy increase initiative will be on the ballot, proposed by the Fayette R-3 School District.

Approval of the additional tax levy would increase property tax by 70 centers per $100 of assessed valuation.

The current operating tax levy is $3.47. The proposed increase would raise it to $4.17. Including the debt service, the total tax levy would be $4.95.

Funds generated by the increased tax levy will help the district regain lost of funding over the years. Board of Education President Gary Gose said the funds would also help cover increasing operating costs and improve programs and technology. The increase is expected to replace forced deficit spending caused by revenue shortfalls, decreasing enrollment and underfunded mandatory programs.

Gose said ultimately, the largest cost is faculty and staff and their salaries. He said the additional funds will help attract and fund more quality teachers.

A "yes" vote would implement the increase. A "no" vote would deny the request.

The last time the district requested a tax levy increase was in 1999, nearly two decades ago.

To calculate the impact the tax levy can have on you, click here.

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