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Schools need support to do best

Published: Thu, October 25, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Schools need support to do best

The Brookfield Local School System, by any criteria, is an excellent school system as evidenced by the multiple generations of families who choose to educate their children here. Most residents of the district are aware that there is an income tax levy on the ballot next month. We understand that any time a tax levy is on the ballot, the levy is — and should be — taken seriously. For this reason, we, the teachers of Brookfield Schools, want to discuss and clarify the upcoming levy issue.

Financially, times are hard for all people, and many parents are worried about what the future holds for their children. We feel that the best thing for this next generation of Americans is to continue providing them a top-notch education and keeping all of their options open for them to have choices. This is the purpose of the 1 percent income tax levy before our voters next month. We want to be able to continue to provide busing for our high school students, athletics and extra-curricular programming for all, updated textbooks and supplies that are not 20-plus years old. We would like to update these materials to keep up with the changing world the students will soon be entering.

As educators, we want the voters to know that this money does not go toward teacher salaries, but rather, it goes toward materials and programs for students. We also want to make sure that the voters know that individuals on fixed incomes, such as senior citizens who own a home and have already paid their “fair share”and put their children through school, will not see an increase. By instituting an income tax instead of a property tax the burden doesn’t fall solely on farmers and homeowners.

In closing, we want to thank the amazing community of Brookfield parents for entrusting us with your most valuable resource: your children. And “Go Warriors.”

Jay Bodnar, Brookfield

The writer is a 1990 graduate of Brookfield High School and is president of the Brookfield Federation of Teachers.


1CompMan(125 comments)posted 1 year, 12 months ago

The Brookfield Board had 3 choices to alleviate their cash flow concerns: 1) increase the property tax mills from 51.85 with an additional 9.13 mills 2) use a 1% income tax on the "earned income only tax" based method. This method would have eliminated social security, pensions, IRA/401(k) distribtutions, and interest and dividends or 3)use a the most agressive method of the "tradtional tax base method" which only excludes social security and grants a senior $50 credit per return filed. If you doubt what I write look at Ohio State Form SD100 and fill in your 2011 numbers to calculate your estimated 2013 cost. Also now a local tax form in addtion to state and federal. Adding income tax in addtion to property tax is a slippy slope to begin walking. Remember all all wage earners already will have a 2% increase in their FICA tax in 2013. Now you will be have 3% less money if this passes. For seniors they have piled on by taxing pensions and savings. Remember your childrens income will also be taxed if they file a income tax form as well. Vote No on the income tax and sliding in an additional method of funding schools. .

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2ohioption(49 comments)posted 1 year, 12 months ago

CompMan is right. If this is a 1% "traditional" income tax then pension and retirement distributions, which are state income taxable in Ohio (Not so in PA), will require additional taxes to be paid by retired folks. It would have been much better to limited this added income tax to earned income only. That way folks on "fixed income" don't get punished some more. They are already being punished with almost zero interest on CD's. Now you want to tax them more.

Otherwise, Brookfield LSD deserves credit for being the first SD in Trumbull County to ask the voters to approve an income tax instead of property tax levy. Income tax is much fairer than property tax but it would have been better to be earned income tax.

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3poland21(97 comments)posted 1 year, 12 months ago

Ohiooption: I am curious why you feel an "earned income only" tax would be more fair?

From ODT: The "earned income only" school district income tax excludes interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, rental income, lottery winnings, and income earned by estates.

If everyone in the community benefits from the schools, why should only those currently working fund them?

I ask this as a resident of Poland where we are struggling for the 4th time to pass a property tax levy. An Income tax may be the next approach....

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4ohioption(49 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

The school district just south of Poland has a 1% traditional income tax. This tax is identical in coverage to the traditional Ohio income tax except it is a straight 1%. The school district just east of your SD in PA probably has a earned income tax because that is the only local income tax allowed in PA. Sebring LSD in southern Mahoning county also has an 1% earned income tax. I just think that an earned income tax is fairer because retired folks are on a "fixed income" and have already contributed for years to their local school district by paying property tax. But you all can decide what you want in your SD. But the income tax should replace some property tax. That was the intent of allowing a SD to obtain revenue from an income tax.

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