Dayton-area voters to decide on 22 tax issues on May ballot

Beavercreek has a large school levy on the May 4 ballot, with budget cuts pending if it is rejected.

School levies will be the most prominent ballot item for many local residents in the May 4 election, as 11 of the 22 tax issues submitted in the five-county Dayton area are tied to schools.

Some of the most high-profile school levies May 4 will be second-chance requests in districts where voters said no in November.

ExploreBellbrook schools back on ballot after three levy rejections

The Bellbrook-Sugarcreek school district is asking for a seven-year, 4.9-mill funding increase after residents said no three times in the past two years. Xenia school officials hope voters change their minds on a long-term 2.0-mill bond issue to build a new middle school.

And after Beavercreek’s levy was rejected three months ago, school officials are coming back with a simpler five-year, 8.7-mill renewal this time — but with serious budget cuts pending (134 jobs) if the levy is rejected.

A Beavercreek High School teacher works with students on Oct. 8, 2020.
A Beavercreek High School teacher works with students on Oct. 8, 2020.

Credit:

Credit:

“This is the third time we’ve run it, but this one is different,” Superintendent Paul Otten said. “It’s a five-year renewal … no increase for our residents in taxes. And it has an expiration date. That was one of the things we heard on the last two attempts. People were concerned about having something that was permanent. This one is not permanent.”

ExploreBeavercreek schools warn of huge cuts if May levy fails

Wednesday afternoon was the deadline for cities, townships, school districts and others to submit May 4 ballot issues to their county boards of elections. Those boards will officially certify many of those tax levies in the days to come.

Cities, counties, townships

School districts are not the only entities with tax levies headed to the May 4 ballot.

** Tipp City residents will vote on a city income tax measure, after rejecting one in November. That November vote included confusion over whether the levy was a renewal or a new tax. It appears that confusion has not gone away.

Preliminary documents on the Miami County board of elections web site list Tipp City’s May levy as a 0.25% additional (new) income tax for capital improvements. City Manager Tim Eggleston said that’s incorrect. He said residents will cast a single vote to consider renewal of two existing levies (0.25% for parks and 0.25% for capital improvements).

ExploreJanuary story: Tipp City officials explain income tax levy

** Brookville residents will vote on a pair of new five-year levies aimed at improving city parks and roads. Brookville voters narrowly rejected similar levies in November, both by roughly 52-48 ratios. The millage requested is slightly lower this time, in the wake of higher property revaluations by the county auditor’s office. The May streets levy will be 3.85 mills, while the parks levy will be 0.96 mills.

** There will be countywide health district levies in both Miami and Preble counties in May. The Miami County measure is a simple 10-year renewal of an existing 0.4-mill tax. The Preble County General Health District levy is also small, but represents a slight increase. The county is asking voters to approve a five-year replacement and increase, from 0.3 mills to 0.6 mills.

** All Beavercreek area residents will vote on one of two road levy renewals. Those who live in the city are being asked to renew an existing 3.4-mill road and bridge levy, and to make it permanent. Those who live in the unincorporated area of Beavercreek Twp. will vote on a 1.5-mill renewal road levy, and that one would also become permanent.

And residents of Montgomery County’s Miami Twp. will decide on a 3.65-mill replacement levy to provide additional funding for the fire department.

Other school levies

** The Springboro school district is asking residents to approve a permanent, 2-mill additional levy for “permanent improvements,” which can refer to building repairs and other long-term physical assets. District officials say residents’ taxes will stay flat if the levy passes, because also for 2022, the bond repayment on the high school will drop by 2 mills.

** Fairborn schools are asking residents to take an existing 7-mill emergency levy that raises $5 million per year and convert it into a permanent substitute levy. Existing residents’ tax rates would stay the same under a substitute levy, but school district receipts could go up in the future if there is new construction.

** Preble Shawnee voters rejected the schools’ request for a 0.75% income tax hike twice in 2020, with the November ratio going 64-36 against. The school district is putting that same five-year levy on the ballot in May.

** Piqua schools are asking voters to renew a 1.3-mill current expenses levy for another five years, and to increase the levy by 0.5 mills, to a new total of 1.8 mills.

In Other News