Just a few blocks from the Centerville Board of Education office, neighbors weigh in on opposite sides of the school levy debate.
Six Montgomery County school districts have new tax levies on the ballot this November, some for the third, fourth or fifth time. But many homeowners oppose any new taxes, citing losses in property values and the overall post-recession fiscal squeeze among reasons to vote against new levies.
The Greene in Beavercreek. Like many city school districts, Beavercreek depends on property tax levies for a significant portion of school funding.
As we move towards election day Nov. 5, the Beavercreek City School District is among those pleading with voters for new levy funding. The district has had four recent levies defeated at the ballot box, and is now returning with a fifth, reduced levy of 6.3 mills. The emergency levy would cost property owners about $18 a month per $100,000 of appraised property value.
Tecumseh Local Schools will ask voters to approve a 5-year,12.37-mill levy tax levy this November, the district's 11th levy request in nine years. If the levy fails, the school district will face an operating deficit of $8 million by 2017.
Superintendent Bradley Martin says Tecumseh's school levy is carrying a higher millage rate this time around because voters have failed to pass a levy in nearly 20 years.
School levies are among the biggest issues on the ballot in the upcoming November 5, 2013 election. Ohio schools depend on these levies as an essential funding stream, and many are facing new or additional levies that can be difficult to pass.
Money for Ohio’s public schools comes from three sources: federal funds, state funds, and local tax levies.
“Levies then become the source really of their chief operating funds,” explains Mark Smith of Cedarville University. “For most cases those local schools are very dependent upon those local property taxes.”