Troy schools to ask for increase in earned income tax

The Troy City Schools will ask voters to approve an increase in the district's earned school income tax in November to help pay for rising costs associated with education in the days of COVID-19.

The board of education voted Thursday to ask the state taxation department to certify the amount of income tax needed to generate around $2 million a year. That amount was estimated at 0.25 percent.

The current district earned income tax is 1.5 percent.

“The reason for this ask is that we have had some incredible expenses that we have incurred going through this adaptation to the coronavirus,” said board member Doug Trostle.

Among those expenses are buying more Chromebooks/computers for students, maintaining the commitment to meals for those families on free and reduced lunches and installing hand sanitation stations throughout district buildings, he said.

The district, like others, also saw a cut in state funding due to COVID-19. Troy’s cut was about $900,000. The district is in line for CARES Act money for schools but the final amount and when that will received is not known, said district Treasurer Jeff Price.

“To be in the position to be able to do what we think is right, just and necessary for our community, we are asking for additional funds,” Trostle said. “We think the most reasonable and equitable way to do that is to add 0.25 percent to our current modified income tax.”

District Superintendent Chris Piper said the earned income tax is paid by “those who are actively employed, people who are earning” but not those “on fixed incomes, retired.”

Thursday’s vote was the first of two needed to approach voters. The board will meet Aug. 3 to ask the Miami County Board of Elections to place the request on the November ballot.

The board voted 4-0 to request the certification. Board President Tom Kleptz was not at the board’s special morning meeting.

The board also voted to approve the district’s Back to School Blueprint for opening.

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