Cole Co. school districts face money loss due to legal battle

COLE CO., Mo. - School districts in Cole County could be facing a loss of thousands of dollars stemming back to a lawsuit Ameren Missouri against several counties in the state.

The company said it's infrastructure is assessed at a value that is too high. 

Dozens of counties in Missouri are locked in this legal battle with Ameren.

The legal cost alone is costing Cole County $236,000. The county is asking some of its taxing jurisdictions to take on half the burden of $118,000.

Jefferson City Public Schools get the most from the Ameren tax, so they're feeling the bulk of the burden at $91,000. Jefferson City will pay $14,000, Russellville schools will pay just over $5,000, the library district is just under $5,000, and Blair Oaks about $3,000.

The big numbers come to reality if Ameren wins the lawsuit. The losses of tax revenue could mean serious cutbacks.

Jefferson City Public Schools could lose $388,000 per year, and that equates to about ten new teachers. 

Jefferson City would lose about $60,000, Russellville $22,000, the Library District $21,000, and Blair Oaks about $12,000.

The lawsuit is not in traditional court, instead it's being heard before the state tax commission.

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