By Sarah Lehr
Voters in Hubbard, Liberty and Girard will face several new and renewal tax issues on the Nov. 8 general-election ballot.
Approval of renewals will not result in additional taxation. A mill represents $1 for each $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.
The Hubbard School District asks voters to approve a new 10-year, 7.1-mill emergency operating levy. The levy would generate $1.44 million annually for the district and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $248.50 each year.
District officials say the levy revenue would roughly correspond to the amount of state funding the district cut annually since 2009. Officials stress the revenue would be used to maintain current operating expenses and would not fund any new projects, such as facilities construction.
“The district has been very fiscally conservative while still making sure that our children continue to receive a tremendous education,” said Ben Kyle, a Hubbard city councilman and a member of a committee in favor of the levy.
City council has approved a nonbinding resolution in support of the levy.
The district cites cost-cutting measures including renegotiation of contracts and the elimination of 23 staff positions since 2010 through attrition. The elimination of those positions saved about $1,001,660 cumulatively, not including the costs of insurance and benefits, according to the district.
The district, which has an overall budget of about $22 million, employs 230 people. There are approximately 2,000 students in grades K-12, including 256 open-enrollment students. The average student-teacher ratio is 25-to-1.
Chris Colella, a Hubbard resident and levy committee member, said the operating levy is necessary to maintain what he described as an exemplary school system.
“I truly believe that pride in Hubbard comes from pride in the schools,” Colella said. “A strong community comes from investment in the schools and vice versa.”
Township voters will weigh in on renewal of two tax issues. A three-year, 1.75-mill levy to provide and maintain police protection would generate about $149,638.46 a year. Renewal of the police levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $53.67 a year.
The ballot will also include a question about the renewal of a five-year, 1-mill levy for the construction and repair of roads and bridges. That levy would generate $95,033.76 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $35 a year.
The township’s total budget is about $2.4 million.
City voters will decide on a new, five-year 0.5-mill parks and recreation levy. The tax would generate about $54,829 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $17.50 per year.
Additionally, voters will decide whether to renew two separate five-year levies for the collection and disposal of garbage. Renewal of a 1-mill garbage levy would raise about $57,000 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $35 per year. Renewal of a five-year, 1.1-mill garbage levy would raise about $76,000 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $38.50 per year.
The city’s total budget is about $4,970,000, as determined by appropriations for fiscal year 2016.
Township voters will decide on five-year renewals of two fire levies and one police levy.
Renewal of a 1-mill fire levy would generate $171,174 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $33.66 a year.
Renewal of a separate 2-mill fire levy would generate $419,511 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $70 a year.
Additionally, renewal of a 2-mill police levy would generate $342,349 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $67.33 a year.
The township appropriated close to $6.2 million total for fiscal year 2016.