Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Friday, 28 June 2013 08:50
PEMBERVILLE - The Eastwood Board of Education unanimously agreed Thursday to place a renewal tax issue on the November ballot.
The district is asking voters to support a 2.0 mill permanent improvement tax issue for a continuing time.
The tax expires this year and was last approved for five years.
But the district is asking voters to support the tax on a continuing basis - meaning it will never expire.
"I know there are some people who will not like the fact that this levy, if passed, will be on a continuing basis. Many people like to have the accountability of having the district on the ballot to make sure we are minding the public coffers. However, having the (1 percent) income tax on the ballot every five years will still force the district to spend tax dollars wisely and provide the plenty of accountability," Superintendent Brent Welker wrote in a community-wide email Wednesday.
The permanent improvement levy, although originally passed a 2.0 mills, has a current effect rate of 1.1 mills. This is what property owners currently pay. It collects $265,000 annually.
The monies are used for capital projects like building and bus maintenance and is essential for us considering the age of district facilities.
The district also will benefit with the recent tax abatement agreement made with the Home Depot distribution center being built in Troy Township. That agreement will bring in $675,000 per year into the district, but will start in 2015.
The permanent improvement levy expires this year, Welker pointed out, and passage would keep the district with enough funds to make facility repairs and other improvements to property and assets during that time.
"We need to continue to have a permanent improvement levy for the district," Welker stated before Thursday's board meeting.
The levy cannot be used for regular operating costs.
The board has not decided how to spend the Home Depot monies, and that money will be set aside until the board figures out the best way to use it.
It will not necessarily be earmarked for permanent improvements.
A community meeting will be scheduled in September to get public input.
"We just need to figure out what people want to do," Welker said.