CIRCLEVILLE — The Logan Elm School District Board of Education has placed two operating levies on the March 17 ballot. The Board is asking voters to renew an $812,000 emergency levy and a one percent income tax. These renewals would be for five years with no rate increase.
The emergency levy originally passed in 1990. The School District needed to raise an additional $812,000 each year to avoid an operating deficit. The levy has been renewed five times since and still raises the same $812,000 each year. Its current tax rate is 2.4 mills, which costs a $100,000 homeowner $6.12 per month.
The one percent income tax originally passed in 2005. The Ohio Department of Education had declared the School District to be in “Fiscal Caution” at the time and additional operating revenue was needed to balance its budget. The levy has been renewed two times since. In 2010, the levy was changed to an earned income tax. As an earned income tax, it does not apply to retirement income, interest, dividends and capital gains.
Combined, the emergency levy and one percent income tax make up 16 percent of the District’s operating revenue. They pay for ongoing costs including teacher salaries, utilities, upkeep of school facilities and bus transportation. Continuation of the two levies is vital to fund existing instructional and extracurricular programs. If the levies are not renewed before the end of 2020, the District will lose over $3.4 million per year and have to make substantial budget cuts to make ends meet.