Northwood tries income & property tax for school
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 09:09
NORTHWOOD - Northwood Schools administrators are hoping residents see the need for new school facilities and support a tax levy in November to fund a new building.
A combined 0.25-percent earned income tax and a 4.9-mill property tax are on the Nov. 5 ballot to fund the project. The taxes will appear as one request. If passed, planning for the new building will start the beginning of the year, with students moving into a new prekindergarten-12 school at the end of 2016.
"It's a matter of need and opportunity coming together at this point," said Superintendent Greg Clark in explaining why the district is asking for voter support at this time.
"We're beyond the point of Band-Aids," said Clark.
And, "it's our turn" in line for state funding help, he added.
The estimated cost of the new 130,000-square-foot school is $33.02 million, with the state's Ohio School Facilities Commission paying for $11.55 million, or 35 percent, and Northwood paying the $21.46 million balance.
The district will hold a forum Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium to answer questions community members might have.
The earned income tax, over 37 years, is expected to collect $8.35 million, while the property tax would generate $11.7 million over its 37-year term.
The earned income tax won't collect on pensions or Social Security payments, said Clark.
"The community committee that put together this plan did their best to limit the amount senior citizens would pay ... and spread the burden across the community and fairly as possible," he explained.
The district also will use income from payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements from FedEx and Johnson Controls, which combined comes to $394,000 annually.
The new school would be located on the current Lemoyne Road campus, unless a better spot can be found. OSFC had reservations about the current site, but approved its use as long as the district continues to look at other central sites if they become available.
The district's plan calls for Olney Elementary, Lark Elementary and Northwood Elementary School to be torn down. The high school would be partially torn down with the common spaces including the gymnasium and auditorium maintained for continued community and student use.
The district's school buildings are between 50 and 75 years old, and with an aging infrastructure, require more funds to make repairs, Clark stated.
He also has stated that part of planning after the levies pass will be what to do with students during construction.
A levy Questions and Answers link can be found on the district's website at www.northwoodschools.org. The link also include photos depicting the age of existing buildings, and a graph listing what homeowners and taxpayers would pay.
But as an example, a resident with a home valued at $100,000 and taxable income of $40,000 would pay $22.64 per month.