As they anxiously await results of today’s election, area school districts are already weighing future opportunities to bring more money in through tax issues.
The Lebanon Board of Education has a meeting scheduled early on Wednesday, in case district voters reject renewal of a 2-mill, five year property-tax levy on today’s ballot.
As one of few area districts with tax issues on the ballot, the board decided to be ready in recognition of the early deadline for making August special election ballots.
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“This is the same levy as on the May ballot. We are only scheduling this meeting in the event that the levy on the May ballot would fail and we would need to place it on the ballot again,” Treasurer Eric Sotzing said in an email.
“If the levy passes, the meeting will be canceled. The timing of the meeting is necessary due to the election calendar,” Sotzing concluded.
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To place an issue on the Aug. 7 ballot, local governments must file with election boards by 4 p.m. Wednesday, 90 days before special election.
In 2014, the district went to voters in an August special election.
One downside: the district would be liable for costs of as much as $39,000, according to Brian Sleeth, director of the Warren County Board of Elections.
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If necessary, the Lebanon board is to meet at 7 a.m. Wednesday in the Board Offices, 700 Holbrook Ave. in Lebanon.
Although also on today’s ballot with a levy, the Carlisle Board of Education is not anticipating it will have to place an emergency operating tax renewal on the August 2018 ballot.
If voters reject the five-year, 6.05-mill emergency operating tax levy that generates $993,222, Superintendent Larry Hook said that it will be back on the November general election ballot.
“We’re not anticipating we’ll have to do that,” he said. “We are being positive because it’s in our benefit that it passes because taxpayers will be able to keep the 12.5 percent tax rollback.”
On existing levies, property owners get 12.5 percent paid by the state. On new levies, the owner pays 100 percent of property tax. Credits covering the 12.5 percent rollback were eliminated six years ago in state law.
In Yellow Springs, the board will be looking ahead on Thursday, if district voters reject today’s issue, although not to the August election.
The Yellow Springs school district is seeking 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.
To get the issue on the November ballot, the board has to take its first action by July 9, according to Superintendent Mario Basora.
“This will come up as a discussion point for sure on Thursday,” Basora said. “We’re looking at potentially November if it fails.”