Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Next Levy

I believe that many people in our community have the impression that when they voted for the Bond Levy to build another elementary school and a new high school, that levy also included the funding required to operate those schools.

It does not!

That levy provided for the funding to pay off the bonds that will be sold to raise money to build the the schools. This is essentially the mortgage payment.

Another operating levy will soon be placed before us to provide funding to operating both the new and existing schools. While the exact magnitude of that levy is yet to be determined, note that Treasurer Brian Wilson alerted the Board of Education on May 22, 2006 that he projects that the funding shortfall in 2010 will be $20 million per year (click here to see a copy of his report).

Where is that money going to come from?

Not the State of Ohio. School funding is a mess in Ohio, but our legislators are predominately from urban and rural areas where the tax base is very poor. Any solution our new Governor comes up with to fix school funding is very unlikely to result in more money for districts like Hilliard, which are among the wealthiest in the state.

How about new businesses in the community? It would be nice, and the City of Hilliard is working hard on recruiting new businesses. But at the same time, existing businesses continue to move out and downsize, and it is difficult to get ahead. There has also been a significant change in the tax system in that business personal property (e.g. inventory) tax is being phased out. This has the effect of shifting more of the tax burden to homeowners and individuals.

What does that leave? The same as always: the existing homeowners and businesses.

So what's my share of this $20 million/year shortfall? As of 2002, the Franklin County Auditor reported that there were 10,799 residential and agricultural parcels in the school district. Let's be generous and say that there will be 20,000 residential, agricultural and business parcels by 2010.

If nothing else changes about the mechanism of school funding, the next levy will need to add $1,000 per year to our current property tax bill.

How's that sound to you? Don't you think the School Board should be talking to us about this?

read more at www.savehilliardschools.org

No comments:

Post a Comment