School District Opts for 9.02-Mill November Levy

"Average" homeowner would pay $641.64 more per year.

The has opted to place a 9.02-mill 5-year emergency “new money” levy on the November ballot, citing a critical need for funding in the wake of several income reductions.

The Board of Education approved the approximate 9-mill option over the 6-mill option at the Aug. 7 Board of Education meeting.

If passed by a majority vote in November, electors can expect to pay a tax increase of $276.88 per $100,000 of home valuation starting January of 2013, School Treasurer Autumn Streng said. The levy, if approved, would generate an additional $7.5 million annually for the school district.

The average home in Avon Lake, per the Lorain County Auditor, is $231,737.

“That means it would cost the average homeowner $641.64 (more) per year,” Streng said.

The district, which last asked for ne money in 2006, is citing a decrease in several key-funding sources for the need for new levy.

“Back in 2009, the power plant was devalued,” Streng said. “That has meant a loss of $1.2 million per year since 2009.”

The district has also seen a decrease in state funding.

“Between fiscal year 2009 and 2013, between the power plant and state funding that’s $8.8 million we’ve lost (overall),” Streng said. “It’s very tough right now.”

No fat left, superintendent says

Superintendent of Schools Bob Scott said the board felt it was a better option to ask for the 9-mlll option than have voters approve a 6-mill option and face cuts regardless.

“We didn’t think it would go over well if the 6-mill (option) passed and we still had to cut $2 million a year,” Scott said.

He also said the district could have opted to make severe cuts and not ask for new money.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, but this is something the board wanted the public to decide on before we did anything drastic,” Scott said.

He also said the district has been frugal with its money.

“We’ve been so tight in what we’ve done here, there’s no fat left,” he said. “What’s left is meat. The school district is supported well for a reason.”

A community survey showed that for the most part, the public supports the district, which has consistently earned high marks with the Ohio Department of Education.

“We’ve reduced 13 teachers and almost $1.4 million (per year) in personnel over the past two years,” Scott said. “The teachers took 0 percent raises for the last two years.

“Even if that amount (9-mlll) passes, we’re going to have to keep it tight.”

He noted the district has increased AP classes from 5 offered to the current 17 without an increase in personnel.

Voters will have an opportunity to decide at the November General Election.

November 2012 school "new tax" levy by the numbers

  • 9.02 mills
  • $276.88 tax increase per $100,000 home valuation
  • $231,737 – Average valuation of an Avon Lake home (per county auditor)
  • $641.64 – Average tax increase (based on average home valuation)
  • $1.2 million – Funding lost per year from devaluation of GenOn Power Plant
  • $8.8 million – Total school district has lost between 2009 and 2013, from power plant devaluation and state funding losses.
Dan LaVigne October 23, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Your missing the point, cut all adminstration salaryies, reduce sports to only three and make them pay $500 per sport. There is more than enough things to do for kids. Growing up never had access to all that kids have in Avon Lake. Most kids today live for computers and computer games. They have no idea how to organize friends for a pick up game of football, basketball, baseball. Look at the abover salaries and you do not think they are overpaid. Most seniors in Avon lake have raised their familes here and want to stay here. Why should they move. Wait until you reach retirement age and are living on a fixed income. Lets see what your idea will be towards levys like this. We paid for private education along with supporting the levys and now its time for us. Too much waste in the system, new bus garage, remodeld stadium, new turn arounds in the schools. Your answer is everyone who do not support the levys are to move. If that is true this levy will empty out half of Avon Lake
Bill Conners October 23, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Dan we already have pay to play for all the sports. however they could raise money elsewhere. The price for student parking at HS is just $20 for the year. How about raising it to $100-150? And i just went in the new driveway last week, it really wasn't needed in my opinion. I think those who want the levy can pay for those who don't want it, that's fair right?
Kimber Malloy October 23, 2012 at 05:51 PM
GOOD-then there will be more room for the deer and it will be safer to hunt them. Solves 2 problems!!!!
Lodging in taos November 29, 2012 at 04:34 AM
<p><a href="http://www.taosvacationhomes.com">Lodging in taos</a> - Thank you for the piece of news. I think that the decision of the school board is correct to a huge extent and thank you for explaining this so well.
JB March 05, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Have read just about all of the comments and almost have to laugh. My kids went through the Avon Lake School system and in all those years I can't remember the school board asking for a levy of this magnitude. Now in my senior years (incidentally it seems to some people we don't exist and that it's all about newbies) after spending all of my money raising the family and paying off the mortgage the cost of living is so exhorbitant I have to worry every day about making it. Being self employed and money always being tight there wasn't much thought given to a retirement fund. I hope the people thinking this levy is so needed have socked away for their old age and will retain their hospitalization under their companies. I for one realize it is going to be much harder to get by with higher property taxes and my ever increasing hospitalization insurance. So good luck to all of you who see the need. Just don't grow old!


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