Springfield renewal income tax


By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

NEW MIDDLETOWN

Springfield community voters will decide in the May primary election whether to approve a 1 percent, 5-year renewal income tax for Springfield Local Schools.

The renewal income tax will raise about $2,167,000 annually.

It will be used for general fund operating expenses such as salaries and benefits, utilities, maintenance and repair, supplies (classroom, custodial, maintenance, bus, etc.) and any other expense necessary to operate the school, said Thomas Yazvac, superintendent.

The school has a number of levies in place.

It has a bond levy for the construction of the new elementary school, approved in May 2013, with an original millage of 2 mills and a current millage of 1.8 mills.

It has a classroom facilities levy to pay for maintenance on the new elementary school, also approved in May 2013, with an original millage of 0.5 mills and now an effective millage of 0.46 mills.

It has a permanent improvement levy of 3.0 mills and various real-estate levies for current expense. The last of these levies was passed in May 1986. The effective rate of these levies is a combined 20 millage.

The renewal levy has been in effect since 1993.

“The board of education has the option of asking the citizens to renew the income tax or requesting a property-tax levy,” Yazvac explained. “It would require a property tax rate of 10.75 mills to produce the $2,167,000. This would be a more than 50 percent increase in the levies for current expense.”

Yazvac said the board is committed to living within its means with the income tax, and since the income tax was passed in June 1992, the board has not asked the taxpayers for any new operating money.

“Property-tax levies fund schools through property owners,” he said. “Income taxes spread the burden over all residents including renters. In the current local economic environment with the possible loss of jobs and income, the income tax makes more sense. If your income is reduced or lost, you still are obligated to pay your real-estate taxes, or you risk foreclosure. If your income is reduced, your income-tax burden is reduced and your property is not at risk.”

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