Fairborn schools ask voters to make substitute levy permanent



Fairborn schools are asking voters to approve a 7-mill continuous school levy on the May ballot.

The substitute levy is the same one that Fairborn voters approved in 2007, and then renewed in 2012 and 2016, said Pam Gayheart, spokesman for Fairborn city schools. If approved this time the levy would become permanent and would not need to be approved again.

Fairborn schools treasurer Kevin Philo said the substitute levy would not increase taxes because it would continue an existing tax levy.

Philo said the school system does not anticipate needing any other new levies for the next few years.

The money goes towards operating expenses of the schools, which includes teachers’ salaries, paying for utilities, and keeping school buses running. Philo said the levy is about 10% of the Fairborn schools operating budget and would affect every school, from preschool through seniors in high school.

This levy would allow for a small increase in overall revenue for new development, so that if a new home or business was built that will also be taxed. But Philo said if an existing property value goes up, then the effective millage would go down so the tax costs remain the same.

Like renewals, substitute levies don’t increase residents’ taxes when they are approved, but over time, they can produce more revenue for the school district, by applying the existing tax rate to any new construction.

The levy currently generates about $5 million annually and the amount that an individual is currently paying for each $100,000 of property valuation is $215 annually, Philo said.

He noted that the original levy that was passed in 2007 was about 8.6 mills, so the levy on the ballot this time is lower than the original.

“We don’t anticipate any problems, but we also want people to be aware and make the conscious decision to vote for it,” Philo said.

Fairborn schools has not asked for any new operating funds in the past few years, Philo pointed out.

Last year, Fairborn voters approved a 5.83 mill bond issue, which will generate about $76 million for the construction of a new high school complete with an athletic complex and performing arts center. With these local funds, through working with the State of Ohio Facilities Construction Commission ELPP program, the district will be eligible for $33 million from the State of Ohio to construct a new middle school, Philo said.

Fairborn has begun work at the site of the new high school on Commerce Center Boulevard.

The levy on the May ballot would not go towards the costs of building the new schools.

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