School levies: Oakwood OKs tax renewal for ballot; Kettering vote expected

Oakwood voters can expect to see a school levy renewal on the ballot this fall while Kettering’s board of education also plans to seek more tax money. FILE

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Oakwood voters can expect to see a school levy renewal on the ballot this fall while Kettering’s board of education also plans to seek more tax money. FILE

Oakwood voters can expect to see a school levy renewal on the ballot this fall while Kettering’s board of education also plans on voting to seek more tax money.

Oakwood’s board Monday night unanimously approved asking to keep a 1.8-mill levy for permanent improvements.

If approved by voters, the five-year renewal would not increase taxes, officials said. It would cost a homeowner whose property is valued at $100,000 about $50 per year, Oakwood Treasurer Tiffany Hiser said.

The tax is expected to generate about $534,000 in revenue in its first year, records show. That money helps fund “any capital asset,” including vehicles, roofing, asphalt, pavement, HVAC, electrical systems and textbooks, Hiser said.

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It does not go toward salaries or “ongoing operational expenses,” she said.

Voters in the school district have approved the levy each time it has been on the ballot since the late 1970s, officials have said. That includes four elections since 2000, all of which saw at least 70% of the ballots cast in favor of the renewal.

One of three levy options had been expected to be recommended to Kettering’s school board Tuesday night, board President Toby Henderson said earlier.

However, Kettering Treasurer Cary Furniss said Tuesday morning only three of the five board members were able to attend.

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A two-thirds vote of the full board is required, pushing back the recommendation until July 12, he said.

Furniss earlier outlined the following options after the district’s five-year forecast showed projected operating deficits through June 2026:

• A 5.99-mill issue estimated to last three years.

• A 5.49-mill tax with the same lifespan.

• A 4.99-mill levy projected to last two to three years.

Furniss declined to indicate which option he would suggest. When a recommendation comes, Henderson told the Dayton Daily News, “I would anticipate the board would make a decision” to allow the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office to certify the issue before a final board vote.

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Projections have Kettering schools’ $104.8 million budget showing a $3.16 million deficit next fiscal year with expenditures at $117.45 million and revenues at $106.3 million in the following fiscal year, records show.

Furniss has said passage of a fall levy this year will allow the district to maintain current programs and services.

The board is not considering any cuts, Henderson has said. But it did talk at length about “making sure we are being very judicious with taxpayer money” and “delivering the services that taxpayers have asked us to as leanly as possible,” he added.

A recommendation at the next meeting will allow an early August vote to place a levy on the ballot, Furniss said.

Ohio election records show Aug. 10 is the filing deadline to have local issues on the November ballot.

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