The Avon Lake School District has forwarded two levy options to the Lorain County Auditor’s Office to determine millage for a possible November vote.
After reviewing results from the Paul Fallon Community Survey (result will be shared on Thursday), the district decided to have millage determined for a 5 year Emergency levy that would collect either $5 million or $7.5 million per year.
“We sent both to (County Auditor) Mark Stewart to determine millage,” Superintendent of Schools, Bob Scott, said.
Which levy, if either, will be forwarded for a vote will be decided at an Aug. 7 school board meeting. Levy requests must be submitted no later than Aug. 8 for the November General Election.
Scott said the survey showed a solid support for the school district.
“The question in our minds was, what did the people think about the bigger (levy) number,” Scott said. “No one overwhelmingly said ‘yes, yes, yes.’ There are still a lot of undecided people out there.”
While the millage has not yet been determined, Scott said the treasurer’s office has determined the $5 million/year levy would be about 6 mills and the $7.5 mill-levy about 9 mills. The 9-mill levy, if passed, would result in an increase of approximately $184 per $100,000 of home valuation.
The board will next need to decide how the district would fare under each levy.
“The board realized it’s a lot of money and questioned the effect it would have on the city,” Scott said.
However, passing the smaller levy might mean the district would need to return to the voters in a few years or result in deeper cuts.
“We need to ask, what will each allow the district to do,” Scott said.
He said District Treasurer Autumn Streng has been working on the forecast and how each scenario could play out.
District hit on several fronts
Scott said the district wasn’t expecting to ask for new money so soon.
“We feel we’ve done a pretty good job,” Scott said. “Before we were looking at Fiscal Year 2017 before looking at a new levy.”
Two and a half years ago, the district learned the GenOn Power Plant was devalued, resulting in a $1.2 million annual loss to the district. A drop in property taxes resulted in another $400,000 lost annually.
Additionally, changes in tangible personal taxes and the utilities deregulation resulted in an addition $3 million lost to the school district each year.
Scott said it was too early to determine what action would result if a levy were put on in November and failed.
If a levy is put to the voters in the General Election and passes, collection on the new taxes would begin January of 2013.
Do you support a small levy, larger levy or no levy at all? Tell us in the comments.