Columbus-area districts are asking voters for money
Several school districts in Greater Columbus have school levies on the general election ballot.
Schools in New Albany-Plain, Upper Arlington, Worthington, Pickerington, Delaware City and Madison-Plains all have issues and drawdowns in the Nov. 8 ballot. Absentee voting begins October 12.
New Albany-Plain Local Schools
Local schools in New Albany-Plain will have a $1.75 million ballot check that will last for five years starting this year if approved by voters.
New Albany-Plain Local Schools Treasurer Becky Jenkins said townspeople will pay $61.25 per $100,000 of home value, as opposed to what they currently pay at $62.33 $.
New Albany:New voters at local schools in Albany-Plain will see a replacement levy of 1.75 mill in November
The previous 2017 district tax expires after five years, so the new tax would continue to help with things such as repairing parking lots and roofs; new school buses; technological infrastructure; and camera security upgrades.
“Our buildings are over 20 years old,” Jenkins said. “So because this levy is ongoing and we have 0.75 million bond debt expiring, now is the time for us to put that back on the ballot.”
Jenkins said the $1.75 million levy would bring in just over $2 million for the district for repairs and other improvements.
Upper Arlington City Schools
Schools in the city of Upper Arlington will have a $6.9 million operating tax on the ballot. The levy would increase the city’s annual property taxes by about $241.50 per $100,000 home assessment, said district treasurer Andrew Geistfeld.
Homes valued at around $400,000 would be an additional $966 per year based on calendar year 2022 tax assessments.
Upper Arlington:Upper Arlington schools to seek $6.9 million operating tax in November
District spokeswoman Karen Truett said the levy would generate about $16.189 million a year to help pay for operating expenses, such as teacher salaries, teaching and student support, technology and transportation. The levy would also help the district increase its budget reserve from 13% of its annual operating expenses to 17% of its annual operating expenses.
Worthington City Schools
Worthington City Schools will send two issues to the ballot – a bundled tax levy and bond issue, as well as a separate supplemental tax levy.
The bundled issuance would include a $234 million bond levy and a $1.9 million ongoing permanent improvements levy that would help fund building improvements at the district’s two high schools.
Worthington:Worthington Schools Bond Issuance, PI Levy, Additional Levy Directed To November Ballot
The bond issue would not only give Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne High Schools new facilities and amenities, but also HVAC and roofing upgrades. Improvements would also be made to district colleges as part of the first phase of its facilities master plan.
Combined voting would cost homeowners an additional $101.50 per year per $100,000 home valuation.
The additional operating tax would start with an additional 2.9 mills in 2023, along with three increases of 2.0 mills over the next three years. This would cost an additional $101.50 per year per $100,000, and then an additional $70 per $100,000 home valuation each year from 2024 to 2026.
This tax would be used to cover the operating expenses of the district.
“Our revenues are expected to flatten out this year when the final installment of the levy that was approved in 2018 is made,” District Superintendent Trent Bowers wrote in a ThisWeek News column.
Pickerington Local School District
Pickerington has a $2.8 million bond issue on the ballot that, if approved, would generate about $89.93 million plus necessary interest for up to 37 years.
The funds would allow the district to build a third junior high school that can accommodate 1,300 students and renovate high schools in Ridgevew to convert them into a separate K-4th elementary school and a separate 5th-6th grade middle school. This would create an eighth primary school for 450 students and a fourth secondary school for 450 students.
Pickington:Pickerington School Board Approves November Ballot Bond Issuance
If the bond issue is accepted, homeowners starting in January 2023 would pay $1,053.15 for every $100,000 of home value. A 22% increase in house values would reduce overall efficient factories by 13.37%; and the district expects effective mills for the 2022 tax year – to be paid in 2023 – to be 30.09 mills.
The bond issue will also allow the district to benefit from future funding of $75 million from the Ohio Facilities Building Commission for the future needs of Tussing Elementary School, Harmon Middle School , Diley Middle School, Lakeview Junior High School and North High School.
“At the end of the day, at the end of the day, this bond issue is almost a two-for-one,” District Treasurer Ryan Jenkins said.
Delaware City Schools
Delaware City Schools has a replacement levy of 5.8 million on the ballot.
The district passed an emergency operating tax in 2017 for a five-year period to generate $6.2 million that expires at the end of this year, so it’s up for renewal, said Melissa Swearingen, treasurer and district financial manager.
Homeowners currently pay about $203 per year for every $100,000 of appraisal, and that rate would stay the same, Swearingen said. The royalty would continue to generate $6.2 million per year.
Madison-Plains School Tax
Madison-Plains has a permanent improvement renewal fee of 2.5 million on the ballot. The original levy was adopted in 1987 and has been constantly renewed every five years. The renewal would generate about $400,761 in annual revenue, said Todd Mustain, district treasurer.
The permanent improvement levy allows the district to purchase technology and upgrade facilities such as rooftops, parking lots, sewers, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and boilers, said district superintendent Chad Eisler.
Columbus City schools take a ballot
The Columbus City Schools Board of Education voted at a school board meeting in August to scrap the $680 million bond issuance, with a maximum term of 35 years and a permanent improvement tax of 4.7 million, saying it was a matter of economic timing.
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The board hasn’t determined when, but members said they’re committed to putting the bond issue back on the ballot because it would cover the local Columbus City schools share in the fourth phase of the district facilities master plan. This plan calls for the district to construct five new buildings over the next five years: two high schools, one middle school, and two elementary schools.
Information from ThisWeek News was used in this report.