Levies in the Greater Columbus area drop massively on election night

All but one of the school levies in the Columbus area were approved by voters on Tuesday night, as voters in the exempt village school district of Granville rejected a levy there.

Overall, voter support for school levies in the general election was widespread by a margin of about 10 percentage points or slightly less. But a replacement levy at local schools in New Albany-Plain went by a margin greater than 28 percentage points.

Many of the levies will be used for building repairs, upgrades and maintenance, while others will go to district operating funds.

Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro said voting issues in each district have their own nuances that generally make them easier or harder to pass — like how each swab campaign is handled by a district, how many people have school-age children in each neighborhood, and more.

But DiMauro said seeing so many levies and bond issuances passed in the Columbus area — and about 73% of statewide issuances according to the Ohio School Boards Association — is still surprising, in In particular, he said that many people have recently been worried about inflation and rising costs. of life.

“It tends to make it harder to solve problems when you’re asking people to raise what they pay out of their own pockets in taxes to support schools,” DiMauro said. “The fact that these issues have moved on at such a high rate, I think, shows how much people really value their communities, and really value their schools, and really want these opportunities for their children.”

But if you missed The Dispatch’s live election coverage on Tuesday night, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at how school levies are doing in the Columbus area, with the Franklin County Board of Elections yet to certify the results.

New Albany-Plain Local Schools

Voters approved the New Albany-Plain levy by a margin of 28 percentage points, with 64% supporting and 36% against the levy, according to unofficial final results. The district also includes some Licking County residents, but according to the Licking County Board of Elections website, no votes were cast for the levy.

The 1.75 mill tax would last for five years starting this year, with residents paying about $61 per $100,000 of home value, up from what they previously paid at about $62.

After:New Albany-Plain Local School Tax Passes Massively

The new levy will continue to help with things like repairing parking lots and roofs; new school buses; technological infrastructure; and camera security upgrades, district officials said.

“The school district will continue to be fiscally responsible as we repair, maintain and replace these capital assets on our school campus over the next 5 years,” the district said in a message to families Wednesday morning. “Your efforts and the support of our taxpayers will benefit the students of local New Albany-Plain schools for years to come.”

Upper Arlington City Schools

A $6.9 million operating tax for schools in the city of Upper Arlington passed with 54% voters in favor and 46% voters against, according to unofficial results.

The development tax will increase property taxes by about $241.50 a year for every $100,000 of home assessment, according to District Treasurer Andrew Geistfeld.

After:Upper Arlington City Schools Levy Pass

Homes valued at around $400,000 would be an additional $966 per year based on calendar year 2022 tax assessments.

The levy will cover operating expenses such as teacher salaries, instructional and student support, technology and transportation. It would also help the district increase its budget reserve from 13% of annual operating expenses to 17% of annual operating expenses, according to district spokeswoman Karen Truett.

“We are truly grateful for our community’s commitment to excellence in the education of Upper Arlington students,” school board president Lori Trent said in a message to families Tuesday night. “The adoption of Number 5 ensures that we can continue to provide a comprehensive academic program, extracurricular opportunities to enhance our students’ experience, and the support they so desperately need to succeed in school and in life.”

Worthington City Schools

Voters in the City of Worthington Schools District passed both ballots: a bundled tax and bond issue, and an additional supplemental operating tax.

The flat levy and bond issue were approved by 56% to 44%, while the additional levy fell from 53% to 47%, according to unofficial results.

The bundled levy issue included a $234 million bond issue and a $1.9 million ongoing permanent improvements levy that would help fund building improvements at the district’s two high schools – Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne .

After:Worthington City Schools’ packaged issue and additional levy appear to have voter approval

Both schools would receive HVAC and roof upgrades through the bond issue, as well as improvements to colleges in the district as part of the first phase of the district’s facilities master plan.

The combined tax and bond issue 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 mill in 2023, along with three increases of 2 mill 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.

The additional levy would help fund the district’s operating expenses.

Fairfield County

Voters at local schools in Pickerington approved the district’s $2.8 million bond issue that would generate about $89.93 million plus interest needed for up to 37 years, according to unofficial election board results. .

Fifty-seven percent of Fairfield County voted for the bond issue and 56% of Franklin County voters voted for the bond issue.

After:Pickerington Local School District Bond Issuance Passes

The funds will allow the district to build a third junior high school to accommodate 1,300 students and renovate Ridgeview High School to convert it into a separate K-4 elementary school and 5th-6th grade middle school. This will create an eighth primary school for 450 students and a fourth secondary school for 450 students.

Starting in January 2023, homeowners will pay $1,053 per $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 tax renewal for the Walnut Township School District failed with 51% of voters voting against it, according to unofficial results from the Fairfield County Board of Elections.

The levy was intended to cover operating expenses, so the district will be left without a major source of funding.

Delaware County

Delaware’s $5.8 million replacement city school renewal tax passed easily, according to unofficial final results from the Delaware County Board of Elections.

Sixty-one percent of voters favored the issue, with 39 percent opposed, according to unofficial results.

After:Delaware City Schools replaces renewal levy passes

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, and was due for renewal, said Melissa Swearingen, treasurer and chief financial officer. of the district.

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 County

Voters narrowly approved the 2.5 million Madison-Plains Schools Permanent Improvement Renewal Tax, according to the Board of Elections’ unofficial final results.

Fifty-two percent of Madison County voters voted for the levy and 52 percent of Franklin County voters voted against the levy. Only two precincts in Franklin County had the bond issue on the ballot.

After:Madison-Plains school tax appears to be narrowly passing

The initial levy was adopted in 1987 and has been constantly renewed every five years. The renewal will generate estimated annual revenue of $400,761, said Todd Mustain, district treasurer.

The Jefferson Local School District replacement levy passed with 56% of voters approving of the tax levy, according to unofficial final results from the Board of Elections. It won’t raise taxes, according to the district’s website.

Lecher County

Levies in several Licking County school districts were not as favored as in other counties.

The local Lakewood School District passed its 10-year, $10.3 million tax levy with unofficial results of 52% for and 48% against the levy. However, Granville’s permanent school income tax renewal was voted down by his voters, failing 58% to 42%.

The district sought to renew the levy for a continuous period, that is, permanently. He was also looking for the same 0.75% that was originally adopted.

District Superintendent Jeff Brown said Tuesday night he was disappointed with the results, but the district would likely try again in May.

“I think it’s important to recognize that for schools in Granville to go a full year without understanding the future of their tax status, it’s going to cause upheaval in the school and in our organization, our ability to recruit and retain teachers and staff members,” he said.

Information from the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette and the Newark Advocate was used in this report.

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