Few school levies on May ballot; cities, townships seek money

Local voters will decide on city, school and township tax levies on May 8. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
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Local voters will decide on city, school and township tax levies on May 8. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

After several elections loaded with school levies, Miami Valley residents will see the lightest school ballot in recent years on May 8.

Yellow Springs is the only local school district seeking an increase in tax funding — in their case via a bond issue to renovate and expand school facilities. Meanwhile, Lebanon and Carlisle are the only two school districts in the region with renewal levies on the ballot.

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In the past four May and November elections, there have been at least seven school levies on the ballot each time, with at least four seeking an increase in taxpayer funding.

Wednesday was the deadline for school districts, cities, townships and other government agencies to file tax issues with the board of elections, to appear on the May 8 ballot.

Greene County

** The Yellow Springs school district will ask voters to approve a combination income tax and property tax issue to fund renovations and additions at the high school/McKinney Middle School complex.

The property tax portion is a 4.7-mill bond issue that would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $164.50 per year for 37 years, according to the Greene County Auditor’s Office. It would be paired with a 0.25 percent income tax.

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Master Plan documents from the school district describe an $18.5 million project to demolish some older sections of the school campus, and construct a new 48,000 square foot academic wing, plus a 4,400 square-foot band room and office space addition.

** Bellbrook voters will have two new tax levies to vote on May 8. The city of Bellbrook is putting a permanent, 1.75-mill Fire/EMS levy on the ballot. City Manager Mark Schlagheck said the levy would fix a structural deficit in fire/EMS funding, plus allow the city to add an extra firefighter. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an extra $61.25 per year.

Voters in both Bellbrook and Sugarcreek Twp. will vote on a new 10-year, 0.6-mill levy for the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District. That levy would add $21 per year to the tax bill of a $100,000 home.

Montgomery County

** The small city of Union, north of Englewood, will have a pair of new property tax levies on the May 8 ballot. Each levy is a permanent, 2.5-mill ballot issue, one for police services and one for Fire/EMS. Each would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an extra $87.50 per year, according to the Montgomery County Auditor's Office.

** Washington Twp. also will have two levies on the May 8 ballot. The 4.65-mill Fire/EMS levy is a straight five-year renewal that would not increase tax rates. But the five-year parks and recreation levy is a "replacement with increase" levy that would make millage rise from 0.7 to 1.0. The annual cost for the owner of a $100,000 home would rise from the current $19.80 to $35. Washington Twp. voters will also weigh in on a zoning referendum related to redevelopment of the former Hithergreen Center.

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** German Twp. will have one renewal levy and one additional levy on the May 8 ballot. The parks and recreation pool levy is a five-year, 0.5-mill renewal that would not change tax rates. The five-year, 2-mill road and bridge levy would be a new tax that would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $70 per year.

** Clay Twp. voters will decide on a new, permanent 3.5-mill Fire/EMS levy. It would cost an extra $122.50 for the owner of a $100,000 home.

** Jefferson Twp. is asking voters to approve a permanent 3.75-mill levy for general operating expenses, at an added cost of $131.25 per $100,000 of value.

** Perry Twp. placed a permanent 1.5-mill Fire/EMS levy on the ballot. The new tax would cost $52.50 annually for the owner of a $100,000 home.

** Harrison Twp. is asking voters to renew its existing 4.0-mill police levy and make the tax permanent. The annual rate of $122.50 for a $100,000 home would not change.

Warren County

** The Waynesville area will see two renewal levies that would continue taxes at the existing rates. Voters in the village of Waynesville will decide whether to keep a five-year, 1-mill street repair levy. And all Wayne Twp. voters will consider a five-year, 1.8-mill renewal of the township's fire levy.

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** The Lebanon school district is asking voters to renew an existing 2-mill levy for permanent improvements at the same rate for another five years.

** Carlisle schools put a five-year, 6.05-mill renewal operating levy on the ballot for May 8.

Miami County

Only two tax levies will appear on Miami County ballots, but both are new taxes, according to elections officials.

** In the village of Covington, voters will decide on a new five-year, 3-mill emergency levy to pay for street maintenance. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $105 per year.

** Brown Twp., east of Piqua, is asking voters to decide on a new five-year, 1.5-mill levy to be used for general operating expenses. The annual cost would be $52.50 per $100,000 of value.