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Avon Lake School District Eyeing November 'New Money' Levy

Financial blows to district may mean a 6- or 9-mill levy

The 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 t 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.

Bill Conners July 25, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Hmm I am still being charged the higher amount of taxes on my property before the real estate bubble burst! We have kids in school and want to support them but maybe it is time for the district to rerun the numbers and tighten the belt more, I would vote for a 6 mil Levy maybe once they show us where the money is going, but not 9.
Lori E. Switaj July 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Thanks Bill. I'm sure the district would like to hear more comments on what taxpayers expect, and what millage would generate a definite no.
linda July 25, 2012 at 04:10 PM
My taxes have not gone down either, even though my home value has dropped drastically! .
AvonLaker1234 August 02, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I believe the reality is no matter where real estate values are or are not (higher or lower) the cost of running a school district remains the same. As pointed out the state cut funding and GenOn is as good as gone. So we'll have to fund at a local level our schools (evon though the current method has been "unconstitutional" for years/decades). I don't want to pay higher taxes (who does?) but I moved here because it is a great district run by great people with fantastic teachers! I may pay $400-900 more a year but to me it is worth it. If you don't like it or have been here too long and don't have kids move - this district is a gem!
linda August 02, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Everybody has to make due with less, that's the reality! You adjust...and Is it a necessity for the teachers to all have ipads? All I'm saying is everyone is pinched and if you aren't, bravo for you! Money doesn't always equal quality, though some think so.
Bill August 08, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Bill I have an idea. Have all the voters who supported the repeal of SB5 pay the additional taxes. This is what SB5 would have avoided. Look at Wisconsin.
Dave D August 09, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I could not agree more. In case you haven't noticed, people are up in arms over the Kasich budget suplus due in 2013. Now, maybe some of these folks will actually support a state tax cut like Kasich wants. It would help offset the sting of this new levy. People were actually screaming to return some of this money to the schools. I would love to know who these people work for, and what kind of salaries they make? I've voted for EVERY levy and tax increase for the last 8 years. I CANNOT support this one.
Bill Cole October 03, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Please Avon Lake show us where the money is going. This is a great school system but I think there is to much waste that has been going on. I have graduated from Avon Lake and so will my children but this levy is to much to ask all at once. Instead of scaring us and telling what will happen if it does not pass, tell us what money is being spent on and where the money will be going. Be Specific! This always happens when Avon Lake wants to pass a Levy they are not specific and hide things. We have two assistant principal's at the high school and the Middle school principal is making $111,000 a year. Lets start buy cutting some salaries of all non union employees or an across the board salary cut. We all need to tighten our belts but if this levy passes I will pay almost $600 more a year on my real estate taxes. I have owned a home for three years in Avon Lake and the taxes just keep going up. I have had enough I will not vote for this levy. Please start tightening your belts before you raise our R.E. Taxes even more.
MZ October 03, 2012 at 08:52 PM
"If you don't like it or have been here too long and don't have kids move" I think I'll stay and vote against it. Thanks for the advice though.

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