West Carrollton passes first new school levy in 9 years

For the first time in nine years, West Carrollton voters approved a school levy that will increase tax funding for the district.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, the 5.5-mill property tax levy was ahead by 10 percentage points, according to unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

“It means we do not have to cut 20 to 25 teachers, we will not be back on ballot in May, and transportation will return on Jan. 4,” West Carrollton school Superintendent Rusty Clifford said, referring to recent busing cuts.

West Carrollton schools had gone longer without passing a new levy than 13 of 15 other Montgomery County school districts. Several previous levies had been rejected, including one of the same millage in March. But Clifford said the whole atmosphere was different this time, with hundreds showing up for levy planning meetings.

“The mayor of West Carrollton, Jeff Sanner, the mayor of Moraine, Elaine Allison, and the president of the Miami Twp. trustees, Doug Barry, were our levy tri-chairs,” Clifford said. “Elected officials don’t usually do that. … Those three have tremendous credibility. I think that had a huge message to the 75 percent of people who don’t have somebody in school.”

The five-year levy will raise about $1.93 million per year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $192.50 annually. Clifford said it guarantees the district will not be on the ballot for new money in the next three to five years.

“This means we will be able to continue to provide the excellent education, with outstanding opportunities at all levels from kindergarten up to high school,” Clifford said.