Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 08:39
Bowling Green School District voters will be asked to approve an additional 0.75-percent income tax when they go to the polls Nov. 6.
The Bowling Green Board of Education at a special meeting Monday voted unanimously to go with the five-year income tax levy rather than a property tax or a combination of a property tax and an income tax.
The 0.75-percent tax will generate $4,050,000 annually, according to Treasurer Rhonda Melchi.
The additional tax is necessary because the district faces a $12,239 deficit June 30, 2014 without new revenue.
If the income tax is passed the district is expected to be in the black through June 30, 2016. That is if the district doesn't experience further cuts in state funding.
Board President Eric Myers said "I was originally intrigued by a combination of property and income tax." However the residents he discussed the plan with "were not as positive."
And they were "very negative toward a property tax," he said.
While these were "informal discussions" they were enough to convince him to support asking for an income tax increase.
"At this time asking for any increase is not going to be popular," he said, 'but asking for the increase in income tax would be less unpopular."
If approved, the increase would bring the school district tax up to 1.25 percent. In spring voters renewed the district's 0.5-percent income tax. By having the new tax last for five years, it would mean the entire amount would come up for renewal at the same time.
The taxes are levied on taxpayers' adjusted gross income, noted board member Paul Walker.
"We know the community is strapped," said board member Ellen Scholl. She said school officials were doing "everything we can" to keep costs down, but without the additional revenue, deep cuts would have to be made.
Superintendent Ann McVey said that since 2004 district officials have been making a concerted effort to reduce spending.
The district has reduced personnel through attrition and closed and sold buildings to reduce overhead and maintenance costs.
It hasn't been enough. Those cuts, McVey said, were offset by unexpected reductions in support from the state.
Any further reductions could lead to laying off teachers, she said.
Melchi said, "there's not much to cut."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 08:42