Xenia school levy that was rejected by 1 vote going back on ballot in May

After being struck down by a margin of one vote out of 12,600 in November, a Xenia Schools income tax renewal levy will be back before school district voters in the May 2 election.

Voters will once again be asked to renew the existing 0.5% income tax for a period of seven more years. Collection of taxes from the existing levy is set to expire at the end of 2023.

If a renewal is passed at any time during this calendar year, the school district won’t see a gap in its funding stream, district spokesperson Kristy Creel said.

The income tax represents approximately $4.5 million, or 10%, of the district’s operating budget, according to public documents. The renewal levy would not increase the tax rate.

ExplorePrevious story: Recount shows Xenia school levy fails by 1 vote

When the renewal levy was on the ballot in November, the Greene County Board of Elections first said it had passed by 1 vote, then they discovered a processing error that left the issue tied. But after a full recount, the BOE said the levy was actually rejected by a single vote (6,331 to 6,330).

It is fairly rare for renewal levies of existing taxes to be rejected, according to Ohio School Boards Association records.

The Xenia Board of Education made the decision to “put the issue back to voters for consideration” in part because of the close vote, the district said last week.

The operating levy provides “critical” funding to support the day-to-day operations of the district, Superintendent Gabe Lofton previously told the Dayton Daily News.

Xenia received $38 million from the state to construct the new Warner Middle School and fund a major renovation and expansion for Xenia High School. However, by law, the district cannot use construction funding for day-to-day operations — things like teachers’ salaries and supplies — and vice versa.

District officials said more information about the levy for parents and district residents will be forthcoming in the spring.

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