KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Public Schools held a finance ad hoc committee meeting Thursday morning at their district headquarters. One thing that was discussed was their tax levy.

The Hancock Amendment prevents tax authorities from collecting windfalls of money after large property assessment increases, like what was seen this year in Jackson County.

The one school district exempt from that is KCPS. They’re exempt because of a ruling from a federal judge in 1985, saying district funding wasn’t adequate at the time.

Now the question is whether the district will voluntarily lower its mill levy, which is $4.9599.

“So, our proposal rate for 2023 to the board would be a top total tax levy of $4.9599.” Chief Financial Officer Erin Thompson said to the committee.

One thing making it difficult for the school district is Senate Bill 190, which Gov. Mike Parson signed. It freezes property taxes for seniors 62 and older.

“I know there’s some pressure to roll back the levy,” school board member Jamekia Kendrix said during Thursday’s meeting.

“But if we don’t have any understanding of what taxes we would be able to collect or what that would look like because we have this legislation up in the air that may be retroactive, it makes it really difficult for us to come up with a calculation.”

“With the board, the only person who speaks for us is the board chair unless there’s been a board vote, and so I can’t talk to you,” Kendrix said.

During the meeting, board member Tanesha Ford brought up a concern about not dropping the levy, too.

“You’ll have to reach out to Board Chair Rita Cortes,” Ford said after the meeting when asked if the board could explain why they’re recommending not dropping the levy.

“If you’re able to shoot her an email, she’s the only one per our board policy that’s able to provide any comment, but thanks for coming out.”

Cortes was at the meeting, too.

“I’m late for a meeting. I have to go,” Cortes said after the meeting when asked why the district may not drop the levy.

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Right behind Cortes as they left Thursday was Superintendent Jennifer Collier.

“I don’t have a problem of talking to you all, but I can’t do it now because I have another obligation,” she said to FOX4. “I’m not running. I’m not afraid. I’m happy to talk. I just can’t do it now.”

People who live in the district will have a chance to weigh in with their concerns about the levy next month. Then, the full school board will vote on the recommendation to not drop the levy.