City schools to put levy on March ballot
By Denise Dick
City school district voters will be asked in March to approve a property-tax levy that would generate $3.5 million annually for four years.
This levy would replace the 9.5-mill levy approved in 2008 that brings in about $5.2 million annually.
At a special meeting Friday, school board members OK’d a resolution to renew a portion of the levy that expires in 2012. The resolution must be sent to the Mahoning County Auditor’s office, where the exact millage will be determined.
William Johnson, district treasurer, called what voters will be asked to approve a renewal and reduction.
A second reading on the levy is expected a regular board meeting Tuesday. Information must be delivered to the Mahoning County Board of Elections by Dec. 7.
Anthony Catale, finance committee chairman, said at a finance committee meeting before the special meeting that when the levy was OK’d in 2008, the district knew it needed both the levy passage and cost reductions to dig out of fiscal emergency.
Since then, about $35 million and 520 jobs have been trimmed, and earlier this year, the state auditor’s office lifted the district’s fiscal emergency status.
Property values are changing because of a recent countywide reappraisal, and that will affect the millage. But if approved, $3.5 million will be collected annually.
“It’s a tax reduction,” Catale said of the difference between the expiring levy and what voters will be asked to approve. “We believe we will be fiscally sound for at least the near future.”
Superintendent Connie Hathorn said he agrees with the $3.5 million amount.
“You have to look at the economy because things are tough for everybody,” he said.