ELECTION 2023: Centerville Schools asks voters for new money for operations and improvements

The 5.9-mill levy would generate around $12.9 million per year.

Centerville Schools is asking voters for a new combined 5.4-mill operating and 0.5-mill permanent improvement levy. It would cost an additional $206.50 a year per $100,000 of home value and generate $12.9 million per year. Approximately $11.8 million of that amount would go toward district operating expenses, and $1.1 million would be earmarked for permanent improvements.

Centerville voters renewed a 10-year emergency levy in May 2022, which did not raise taxes. This levy would raise taxes.

Centerville Schools officials noted the last time voters approved an increase in the school’s operating funds was four years ago.

“It has been four years since Centerville Schools asked our community for additional funding,” said Sarah Swan, spokeswoman for Centerville Schools. “Our expenses are now exceeding our revenue, and we are beginning to dip into our reserve funds.”

Centerville, as one of the wealthier school districts in the area, is funded at a lesser amount from the state than other districts deemed poorer. About 77% of the district’s operating revenue comes from local property taxes, Centerville officials said.

According to the district’s May five-year forecast, a public document all school districts are required to submit to the state that looks at district spending and what the district has in the bank, the district expects to spend $6.3 million more than what the district believes it will bring in during this school year.

The district also projected deficit spending of $3.9 million last school year. While the district has roughly $30 million in the bank right now, projected deficit spending would spend through those reserves by the 2026-2027 school year.

A Facebook page titled “Centerville City Schools Levy” offers more information. An opposing Facebook page, “Vote NO on Centerville City Schools Levy,” argues the cost of living is already too high and the tax would add to the cost of living. Centerville also has more information on their website.

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