For Immediate Release: October 10, 2012
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
KASICH BUDGET CUTS = MORE SCHOOL LEVIES
IO SAYS 83% OF OHIO COUNTIES ASKING FOR “NEW MONEY”
Columbus — Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today released an analysis which finds that 62 of Ohio’s 88 counties (83%) will have school levies requesting “new money” on the November, 2012 ballot.
All told, 194 school levies will be on the fall ballot, 124 of which are requests for new money. The rest are renewals of existing levies.
The analysis found that the number of new money requests is the highest since November, 2008 when just over 40% were passed by the voters. The passage rates of new money requests have been falling in recent years, with just 22% passing in November 2010 and 28% passing in November, 2011. New money requests have become more prolific since Gov. Kasich and his legislative allies cut $1.8 billion from school districts in the state’s current two year budget.
The complete list of 194 levies on the November ballot, along with historical data on the number and success rates of levies over the past five years is available on our website. Over the next 20 days, we will be profiling 20 school districts with new money requests on the fall ballot.
IO’s analysis also found that virtually all school districts have reduced costs in the wake of state budget cuts, including salary and benefit reductions for teachers, lay-offs, building closures, and higher “pay to play” fees for sports and other extracurricular activities. In many school districts, levy failure this fall will mean draconian cuts to academic programs.
Said IO President Janetta King:
“When Ohio voters go to the polls next month, the results of Gov. Kasich’s budgetary shell game will be on full display. For all his boasts about ‘balancing the state budget without raising taxes’, all he’s really done is push the need for revenue increases down to local taxpayers.
“Instead of using some of the half-billion dollars that are piling up in the state’s ‘rainy day fund’ – or agreeing to use the money we could get from imposing a fair severance tax on the big oil companies that are poised to extract billions from our state in oil and natural gas – Gov. Kasich stubbornly refuses to restore a single penny of the money he’s cut from schools. In fact, he’s now talking about cutting the state income tax again – in a way that will favor the wealthiest Ohioans. Sooner or later, Ohio taxpayers are going to wake up and realize they’ve been had.”