Ohio’ Tax Change to Largely Affect Schools and Libraries

A tax rate of $136 a year for every owner of a $100,000 house was agreed upon by the residents of Manchester Local School District in Summit County, Ohio, two years ago.

This rate would have been elevated if not for the 12.5 percent decrease on property taxes being paid by Ohio since the 1970s. The state pays property taxes not only for school facilities, but others such as libraries, local government, as well.

Superintendent Sam Reynolds doubts if the voters from his district, where the usual annual revenue is only $35,000, would be able to afford anything higher than the approved tax rate.

“Without the rollback, this levy would have cost $156 per year, and may not have passed,” Reynolds further stated in an interview.

Though, last Sunday, Governor John Kasich signed a $62-billion two-year budget which includes the elimination of all new and replacement levies starting in 2014.

State estimates show that the removal of the rollback will only generate an increase of $4.38 a year, or 37 cents a month. It did not consider the fact that a lot of residents may pay multiple property tax levies for the local library, school, and township.

Like many other districts around the state, Reynolds’ district continues to be overwhelmed by health care costs, special education, and testing mandates which sums up to an estimate of $769,000. An amount which cannot be met by funding increases in a new budget of approximately $110,000 over the next two years.