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Beavercreek schools seeks to renew tax in March

Slide presented to the Beavercreek school board in November 2019. CONTRIBUTED
Slide presented to the Beavercreek school board in November 2019. CONTRIBUTED

Beavercreek voters will be asked in March to renew and make permanent a levy to support operating costs for the school district.

The school board has voted to place the 9.85-mill substitute emergency levy on the March 17 ballot. The renewal means property owners will continue paying roughly $300 per year for every $100,000 of assessed property value to raise approximately $18.5 million a year in operating revenue, according to the district.

Updated plan in Beavercreek reports need for new high school

The revenue from the tax represents about 18% of the district’s operating budget, and if voters pass it this time, it becomes permanent, according to Beavercreek City Schools spokesman Ryan Gilding.

“The biggest advantage to making the levy permanent is revenue growth for the district over time,” Gilding said. “This is most often achieved when people moving into the district pay the same rate as current residents.”

Beavercreek schools is growing with more than 100 new students enrolled in each of the past two years.

District leaders recently presented an updated master plan that includes construction of a new high school. The bond issue to pay for that new construction could be presented to voters in November 2020, Penny Rucker, district treasurer and CFO, said during a presentation at last month’s school board meeting.

In addition to the bond issue, a permanent improvement levy will be needed to maintain the new buildings, and operating costs could increase by an estimated $625,000 a year with the new building, Rucker said during the presentation.

Based on the district’s five-year financial forecast, new operating revenue will need to be approved by voters in the 2021-2022 time frame in order to avoid overspending, according to Rucker’s presentation.

“We have a lot of financial changes in the works,” Rucker said.

Beavercreek voters in May passed two school taxes, one a renewal to maintain facilities and the other a new five-year tax to support daily operating expenses.

Rucker said failure to get the March levy passed would be “devastating” to the district.