Kettering schools seek 5.99-mill tax levy, call it ‘the only and the best path’

The Kettering school board on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to move forward with the highest-millage option among three possible tax levies for the November ballot.

A resolution asking the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office to certify the total amount a 5.99-mill levy will generate was approved 4-0 by the board Tuesday night.

A vote to put the levy on the ballot before voters this fall is expected Aug. 2, ahead of the Aug. 10 deadline for such filings, officials have said.

If approved by the board next month and by voters Nov. 8, the levy would cost $209.65 a year for the owner of a home valued at $100,000, Kettering Treasurer Cary Furniss said.

ExplorePOPULAR: Dayton man arrested after another Kettering post office mail theft

The district is facing “significant” projected budget shortfalls the next five years without any cuts, “which is not what I’ve heard anyone in the community advocate for,” Board President Toby Henderson said after the vote.

“I think under the circumstances — given the economics of what we’re faced with — this is really the only and the best path,” Henderson said.

Kettering schools’ general-fund revenues have increased from $101 million to $103 million to $106 million the past three years, according to the district’s most recent five-year forecast. In that same period, expenses dropped from $107 million to $105 million to $100.7 million.

But the forecast suggests that revenues will dip in the coming year before bouncing back to $106 million in 2023-24. It projects that expenses will soar from $108 million next year and $117 million the next year.

“We’ve been very deliberate and waited as long as we can to see” how various factors “shake out,” Henderson said.

ExploreRELATED: Kettering schools, YMCA July 20 forum to address new child care deal

Furniss estimates a 5.99-mill levy to last three years. Two other options he gave the board included a 5.49-mill tax with the same lifespan and a 4.99-mill levy projected to last two to three years.

A 5.99-mill levy “would keep us with our projected cash balance” into 2024 and “allow us to operate our program for three additional years.” Furniss told the board.

While the county will certify the revenue, a new tax issue would generate about $9 million annually if approved by voters, according to Kettering financial documents.

ExploreFOOD: Popular Ohio restaurant chain plans new site in Kettering

Waiting until 2023 to approve the option voted on Tuesday night would increase it by about 2 mills for the same amount of revenue, Furniss said.

“If you put it off a year, for a homeowner, it’s going to cost them more when it does get here,” he said.

ExploreEARLIER: Severe weather warnings by suburban Dayton group can ‘save lives’

Voters in the Kettering district approved an additional 5.99-mill levy in 2018, county records show.

About the Author