Two dozen cities, schools, townships seek tax increases or renewals on March ballot



While the presidential primaries will get much of the attention, the March 2024 election will have an immediate effect on local communities via tax levy votes.

More than 20 Dayton-area cities, townships and school districts have funding requests on the March 19 ballot, seeking money for school construction, school operation, road paving, public safety and other initiatives.

Dayton income tax renewal

Voters in the city of Dayton will decide whether or not to renew a 0.25% income tax levy for another eight years, generating about $15 million annually for the city’s budget. Dayton voters first approved the income tax hike in 2016, increasing the city’s overall income tax rate from 2.25% to 2.5%.

The city plans to put $4.3 million of the revenue each year toward Preschool Promise universal kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-old kids, and roughly $10 million of the rest will go to the general fund for road repairs, parks improvements, and police staffing and equipment. Another $650,000 will be put toward housing investments.

Centerville School Levy

The Centerville school district is going back to voters to request approval of a smaller levy than the one they rejected in November.

The school board voted 4-1 Monday (Allison Durnbaugh dissenting) to place a 3.9-mill permanent operating levy on the March 19 ballot. It would generate $11.2 million per year for day-to-day expenses, and would cost residents $137 annually per $100,000 of property value, according to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.

“Our expenses are continuing to outpace our revenue, which has led us to ask the community for additional funding and find ways to make reductions in all areas of our operation,” Centerville Superintendent Jon Wesney said.

Wesney said the district is already working to save money, including limiting new hires and overtime, and reducing costs for classroom resources.Other proposed reductions will be presented to the Board of Education in January.

Voters rejected a 5.9-mill permanent levy in November, with nearly 57% against and 43% in favor.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Warren County Career Center

The Warren County Career Center will place a combined bond issue and tax levy back on the ballot in March, after voters narrowly rejected it in November, 51.6% to 48.4%.

The county’s vocational school district is hoping to fund a new career tech campus next to its current facility in Clearcreek Twp. The new building would house 1,100 students.

The vote is on a 0.618-mill bond and a 0.2-mill levy, each to last 30 or more years. The estimated annual cost to a property owner would be $29.32 per $100,000 of valuation, according to the Warren County Auditor.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission would fund $21.6 million of the project, if the district can raise $67.3 million via this vote.

The current campuses hold preschool, high school and adult workforce training programs, as well as satellite programming for grades 7-12. Career Center leaders say their programs are at capacity, and the new facility would accommodate growing enrollment.

Other requests for tax increases

Greene County: The city of Xenia is seeking a 4-mill levy for police and fire, to replace its existing 3.5-mill public safety levy. Greeneview Schools are seeking a 3.99-mill bond and permanent improvement levy. Both the Xenia and Greeneview issues would cost a homeowner $140 a year per $100,000 of home value. The village of Jamestown is seeking a 3.7-mill police levy that, if passed, would cost a homeowner $130 per $100,000.

Miami County: Tipp City Schools are putting a 30-year bond issue on the March ballot, to raise $87 million for a preschool through eighth-grade building. The bond would equal 8.68 mills and would cost $304 for each $100,000 of property value. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission would contribute $30 million. Milton-Union schools are seeking a permanent, 1% income tax increase for day-to-day expenses on the March ballot.

Montgomery County: Oakwood voters will consider a 2.41-mill, five-year replacement tax issue, costing homeowners $84 per $100,000 of home value annually. Harrison Twp. has put forth two new tax issues, an additional 5-mill fire levy and 5-mill general fund levy, each estimated at $175 per $100,000 of home value. The city of Riverside is asking voters to approve a 4.95-mill replacement police levy, and the city of Clayton is seeking a 1% income tax increase, while simultaneously increasing the credit for taxes paid to other cities.

Warren County: Wayne Local Schools are seeking an additional five-year, 1.65-mill levy for permanent improvements (facilities, buses, equipment, etc.). Voters rejected a permanent version of that levy in November. Franklin City Schools are seeking a 6.3-mill levy that would cost a homeowner $220 per $100,000 of appraised value. Franklin Twp. has a 0.75-mill road and bridge levy on the ballot, costing a homeowner $26 per $100,000 of value annually.

No-increase renewal levies

Renewal levies extend existing tax rates for a longer period of time. Among the jurisdictions seeking renewals are Miami Twp. police and Brookville schools (Montgomery County), Bethel schools (Miami County), city of Lebanon fire service with a renewal and decrease (Warren County), and the city of Fairborn with two 0.25% income tax renewals for public safety and road improvements.

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