How Much Will That Tax Cost Me? Here's the Formula

The November election means tax issues for Avon and Avon Lake will be on the ballot. Here's how taxes are determined based on your home value in Lorain County.

Figuring out how much a tax will cost a property owner, based on millage, can be confusing. We asked treasurer Autumn Streng to explain how taxes are figured per $100,000 valuation.  

The formula, which would work for any Lorain County millage, is based on home valuation, an assessed rate, millage and a rollback. Millage is determined after it is determined how much money the levy needs to generate (for example, $XX million per year for operating expenses, equipment or a new school building.)

Millage is determined the , which can also provides property owners with a valuation.

Avon Lake School District is placing a 9.02 mill levy on the November ballot that is expected to cost homeowners $268 per $100,000 valuation. The five-year emergency levy is for operating expenses. 

The Avon School District will try, for a third time, to help construct a new middle school.

Avon Lake is also seeking to put back on the November ballot after it was narrowly defeated in the August special election. If approved, the levy will cost property owners $61.25 per $100,000 valuation.

Here’s how taxes are determined based on a set millage. The example below uses 9.04 mills as an example:


market value



assessed rate (35%)



assessed value






assessed value






rollback (12.5%)



tax due (per $100,000 home valuation)

MZ August 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Prior to voting for this emergency tax we should demand to know what will be cut without this $9.02 million. We should be told the alternatives to the additional tax burden. As a community and as individuals we could than debate whether or not we think the school board has done their due diligence. The alternative cuts and how they were identified could be quite telling. Simply calling something an emergency does not make it so.
Laurie August 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I agree with you completely, MZ! I would like to know a full breakdown of how they want to spend this new tax money. Frankly, I can't afford to pay any more.
MZ August 20, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I would as well, but I am not holding my breath.
SenseWorth August 22, 2012 at 01:07 AM
The $277 per 100,000 is not the only cost we need to consider. Avon Schools spends $7,181per pupil or $3,723 LESS per pupil (2011 school year) than Avon Lake, $10,904 and Avon scores right there with Avon Lake on the State Performance Index categories, and Avon has more students. And now Avon Lake wants another $1,984 MORE per pupil. Avon Lake has some explaining to do.
AvonLaker1234 August 22, 2012 at 01:22 AM
For what it is worth this (below) site explains how, by Ohio's (backward?) law, schools fund themselves...the term "Emergency" is an odd (?) term they are required to use. At this time I'm open minded about the levy issue...no one wants to pay more taxes; I would like to understand all the facts. In my case I'm looking at over $1,000+/year increase or for everyone it equls ~15-20% increase in net property taxes. I believe all property owners need the understand the business case of the levy - both pros/cons. The administration and staff all do great work, with outstanding community backing, and as a community I believe we need to truly hear, understand, and debate this important topic as it will shape Avon Lake for 10+ years. http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/School_bond_and_tax_elections_in_Ohio
SenseWorth August 22, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Agreed. Avon spends $7,181per pupil and Avon Lake spends $10,904 per pupil and the State Performance scores are comparable. Why do we pay $3,723 per pupil MORE for the same educational outcomes. And now Avon Lake wants an additional $1,984 per pupil. I think we have an emergency but it is not just a revenue emergency.
SenseWorth August 22, 2012 at 01:56 AM
A rational and reasonable approach. However, I'm concerned that it costs us Avon Lake taxpayers $13 Million more to educate 3780 students (2011 school year) than Avon spends to educate 3,920 students and get comparable State Performamce Scores. And Avon Lake wants another $7.5 million to boot. Is there any reason we should pay 50% + more than Avon for the same education outcome. Source:http://ilrc.ode.state.oh.us/PublicDW/asp/Main.aspx
Chris October 20, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Has anyone wondered how AL government allowed things to slip so much. Every community is dealing with the same issues of reduction in tax revenues due to property valuation. So let me get this right. My property isn't worth as much... a considerable asset has just lost value... so I lose on that end and am stuck in the community because if I sell I will lose money. If I stay I lose in terms of a higher tax rate. Now if you have school age kids or you are a grandparent with grandchildren in AL schools, you can devalue your next generations future earning potential if you choose to vote against the levy. Great. Since I have moved to AL: less services for more tax and a local government that has had it too good for too long. All of them expect this "emergency levy" to pass and talk openly about it. They point fingers at the state and a power company but have done a very poor job engaging either one. Necessity should beget creativity - not burdening the community that they are supposed to serve.
A Lifetime Resident of Avon Lake May 03, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Any way you do the math, it is still too much! The factor missing from the equation is the 10 year number. Way too long of a commitment, which only serves to absolve the schools from any near term accountability.
Kristen LePrevost May 03, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Well they've already cut programs and laid off teachers so seems like they've made changes already...teachers have a salary freeze.
Kristen LePrevost May 03, 2013 at 02:41 PM
But Avon hasn't been ranked an excellant school right???
Kristen LePrevost May 03, 2013 at 02:43 PM
How do you engage the state to give you more money when there is none to be had??? Also, I'm pretty sure the city couldn't convince the power company to stay open. That's not very realistic.
Kristen LePrevost May 03, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Sounds like ANY number would be too much for some people so just say that...
Kristen LePrevost May 03, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Did you attend the informational meetings the school board held?
M Johnson May 03, 2013 at 03:56 PM
There have been multiple public meetings and news articles outlining the need for this levy and the consequences if it does not pass. I refer you to the Avon Lake Citizens for Schools website. Yes, it is a pro-levy site but the levy fact sheet outlines the issue in short order for all to review. The fact sheet appears on the Contact Us-FAQ page, on the right side of the page are 3 pdf files, one of which is titled Levy fact sheet.pdf. Here you will see what has already been done in response to our financial issues and what will have to be done if the levy does not pass. Please review it before you vote. http://avonlakecityschoolslevy.yolasite.com/contact-us--faq.php
A Lifetime Resident of Avon Lake May 03, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Kristen, My position has always been the length of the "emergency" levy. No one can predict the economic climate ten years down the road. What if a large company decides to locate to Avon Lake? What if the power plant decides not to close? What if Ford expands their operations here? Will the schools repeal this levy and tell us they do not need all the money now? Will they give us a rebate? No, they will just spend it, as they have in the past. For the record, after over 30 years in Avon Lake, this is the first levy I am struggling with. I do feel it is too much, again mainly because of the duration. So I ask you, what is your limit? What if they wanted 20 mills, would you be okay with that number as well? Maybe for 40 years? I suggest we take it slow, maybe a smaller amount for 10 years, with the option to come back for more; or the current amount, for a shorter duration; again, with the option to ask for more based on Performance! The goal should be to have the most efficient system in the state. A proper balance between spending and results. This is what every business strives for, including my own. I expect nothing less from the schools. So, because I am not willing to jump in with both feet, but rather prefer to test the water first, I am anti-school? I feel this is a reasonable and rationale way to go about this. No "emergency" lasts for 10 years, which is how it is worded. So I asked again, what exactly is your limit?
Patch reader May 03, 2013 at 05:15 PM
"What if a large company decides to locate to Avon Lake? What if the power plant decides not to close? What if Ford expands their operations here?" Excellent points. The power plant generates a lot of tax income. It will be difficult to replace this much revenue. Avon Lake needs to start planning what will happen to this prime property if/when the power plant closes. I would like to see a large marina with a public park, waterfront dining and senior housing.
Michael Lisi May 03, 2013 at 05:39 PM
All information is out there! Avon is an outlier on the funding map just as Orange, a district that spends $21,000 per student, is at the other end. Check complete comparative demographics - Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties - as opposed to a selected district from the Dayton area such as Springsboro. The committee has been transparent with all data and has answered any question put forth. I suggest that some step from behind their blogger alias names and make an honest effort to seek accurate data. The school board and Superintendent have done an amazing job of managing the budget and will do all they can to provide the education that all of come to expect and one which our children deserve as much as those of yours which have already gone through.
A Lifetime Resident of Avon Lake May 03, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Patch Reader, Hopefully it will not turn into another tax abated condominium project like Aqua Marine. "Kopf Builders is also touting a 75 percent 10-year residential tax abatement that is being passed on to buyers." From a sales brochure from Kopf. 15 buildings X 19 units/building X 12 months X $200/month X 10 years = $6,840,000. So why are they not paying taxes over there again? Nearly $7M forgiven? So I am paying for their children to attend Avon Lake Schools? Mr. Lisi, I can understand your concern. As a music teacher, your classes are definitely on the "chopping block." By the way, are you campaigning for the school levy during class time today? You are at the high school teaching right now, are you not? Just another example of the taxpayer's money hard at work. Not a good move when teachers claim they are overworked and underpaid, but still have time to read the Patch and respond to blogs. Hmmmmmmm. Makes me wonder.
Myron Thomas May 03, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Kristen makes an excellent point. Quote,"How do you engage the state to give you more money when there is none to be had?" Except change the word STATE to AVON LAKE CITIZENS. It's funny how it can be accepted and rationalized one way. Yet completely dismissed the other way.......
Kristen LePrevost May 03, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Wow...low blow..at least Mr. Lisi isn't hiding behind a fake name...
Kristen LePrevost May 03, 2013 at 06:15 PM
I was referring to the formulas the state uses to determine how much money each district gets...that cannot be changed by request....and yes Myron..we all are well aware that you don't have a single extra dollar to spare towards anything and are having to sell your house and leave Avon Lake because it's too expensive to live here but you can't sell your house because the values around here are so low. Though I must say I've seen a lot of SOLD signs up on houses that are barely sitting on the market but a few weeks so the real estate market cant' be too back around here.
A Lifetime Resident of Avon Lake May 03, 2013 at 06:23 PM
M. Lisi, My apologies, you should be at the Junior High School teaching right now, instead of blogging and campaigning for the school levy on taxpayer time. I mistakenly said the high school in my post above. As for your comment about Avon Schools being an "outlier," I want Avon Lake Schools to be an outlier as well. How do we become one so we can also run as efficiently as them. I mean, why be average, when we can be as cost-effective as Avon! Sign me up, I want to be an "outlier." Finally, it has nothing to do with transparency. Windows are transparent too, but if I throw a rock through it I have to pay to have it fixed. Just because the numbers are there, does not mean I have to agree with how they are being spent. This is the point. I am not questioning the integrity of the school administrators, but always have the right to question their spending, as we all should. During difficult times, difficult decisions need to be made. This is one of those times. I, for the life on me do not understand why an emergency levy needs to be put in place for a ten year period. This is ridiculous. Three years, you have my vote....five years....maybe.....never ten years.
A Lifetime Resident of Avon Lake May 03, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Cost of one Junior High music teacher = $108,049.88 per year. ( Salary $79,796.00 X 14% (STRS) + $17,082.86 Health Insurance) $108,049.88 year/185 days/year = $584.05 per day. $584.05 per day/ 8.5 hours/day = $68.71 per hour 15 minutes spent reading and blogging on Patch during work = $17.18 $17.18 x 210 teachers = $3607.37 per day $3607.37 X 185 days per year = $667,363.02 per year After looking very closely at all the evidence, I conclude we should ban all teacher's from the Patch! This alone would allow us to keep Home Ec and Music for all our students! Or maybe we should pay for another Masters Degree to instruct our teachers on how to post anonymously. Save the comments, just having a little fun. (But making a point at the same time)
A Lifetime Resident of Avon Lake May 03, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Kristen, He probably should. I prefer not to use my name since I have children in the school system. And yes I do support the schools, but reserve the right to question their spending.
AvonLaker1234 May 03, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Jeff, move to Avon then?


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