Voters in the Toledo School District will be asked to replace a $1.1 million levy with $895,000 per year levy. The proposal will provide funds to continue the district's enrichment activities for two years. "Levies are like a subscription service," said Board President Jerad Buswell. "The district asks the community to renew the subscription every few years." Toledo's current levy will end on December 31, 2019. If approved, the replacement collections would begin in 2020.
The current levy is a four-year measure that, in addition to enrichment programming, provided the district with funds needed for capital projects that were not funded by a proposed bond measure in 2014. "We were required to complete a $350,000 water supply project at the high school and replace the roof at the middle school," according to Chris Rust, Superintendent. "Those projects and others have been completed."
The community recently approved a $7 million bond measure to build a new high school. Dale Merten, Chair of Citizens for Great Toledo Schools says, "The bond was critical, but it can only provide for a new building. The levy pays for everything else that the state doesn't fund." Levy dollars and student fundraising pay for all athletic programs in the district. In addition, levies fund lower class sizes, repairs, additional staff for instruction and instructional support, maintenance and grounds as well as extracurricular activities and travel. Levies fund curriculum adoptions, professional development, and shortfalls from the state in Special Education.
"We've done our best to try to present voters with a proposal that keeps tax rates from increasing," said Buswell. "With this levy and the bond, we estimate that tax rates will increase by a total of 9 cents per $1000 compared to 2018 tax rates."
· Current tax rate for existing levy is $2.17 per $1000 of assessed property value
· Recently-approved bond will add 76 cents per $1000
· Current tax rate for the existing levy will decrease by 67 cents per $1000 in 2019
· Net impact to taxpayers compared to 2018 tax rates for schools is an increase of 9 cents per $1000.
Rust noted that tax rates fluctuate with assessed valuation. "As values rise, tax rates decline. As new construction comes to the community, the share that each taxpayer pays is lessened."
Levies require a simple majority to pass. Ballots will be mailed out January 25. Election day is February 12.