Monroe voters OK school levy, tax cut by wide margin

Voters in Monroe had a rare opportunity on Tuesday's ballot: Vote for a school tax levy and lower their school tax bill.

And voters in this Butler County school district overwhelmingly said “yes” to that tax reduction and approved a substitute operating levy for Monroe Schools.

Explore>>>RESULTS: The latest election results

The school tax levy won 72 percent to 28 percent, according to unofficial final results from the Butler County Board of Elections.

The new school tax lowers the school tax millage to 7.2-mills by replacing a current 8.2-mill emergency, five-year levy approved in 2012.

And the new tax lowers the annual school tax cost for the owner of a $100,000 home from the current $251 to a yearly cost of $220 beginning in 2017.

“I want to thank the many volunteers who worked so hard to get the message out to our community and obviously our community for once again demonstrating their support,” said Monroe Superintendent Phil Cagwin. “I am truly proud to work in a school district that has such a strong partnership with the community.”

The city of Monroe, which straddles the border of Butler and Warren counties next to Interstate 75 has seen explosive commercial and residential growth in recent years and a jump in school enrollment — doubling in the last 15 years to more than 2,700 students.

The new levy will generate $2.2 million of the district’s annual operating budget of $24 million.

The next financial challenge for Monroe Schools is getting more state funding, according to Cagwin.

“Due to the state funding formula, we receive the fewest state dollars per pupil of any school district in Butler County, so the tax burden lies primarily on our local taxpayers,” he said. “While we appreciate and value their support, I will continue to communicate with our state legislators in an attempt to increase the percentage of state financial support for Monroe Schools.”