For Immediate Release: October 22, 2013
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
SCHOOL LEVIES UP NEARLY 30% UNDER KASICH
Think tank says budget cuts responsible
Columbus — Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today released a new analysis of school funding levies. The analysis shows:
- 72 new operating levies raising $260 million will be on local ballots in November;
- This brings the total number of new “operating money” requests between May of 2011 and November of 2013 to 475, and the total amount requested to $1.59 billion;
- Both figures (number of levies and amounts requested) are significantly higher than those occurring before Gov. Kasich took office. Compared to May, 2007 through November, 2009, under Kasich there have been 27.7% more requests (up from 372) for 39.1% more money (up from $1.15 billion) on Ohio ballots.
Said IO President Janetta King:
“This analysis is proof positive that the school funding cuts enacted by Gov. Kasich and his legislative allies have simply shifted the burden to local taxpayers. Until now, the Administration has claimed that state funding cuts haven’t had an impact on local schools or local taxpayers. And they’ve preposterously asserted that despite their cuts, the number of new money levies for operations haven’t risen since they took office.
“Even now, we fully expect that they will try to confuse the issue by lumping school construction levies in with school operating levies and claim that the number of levies has held constant. But as Charlie Wilson, President of the Ohio School Boards Association, says:
‘….if you are trying to measure the impact of state funding cuts on the (schools’) main operating budget, Innovation Ohio’s measurement is better because it effectively measures the local operational impact of cuts made in the state’s operating budget.’ (emphases in the original)
“In short, the Kasich administration and its allies have played a giant shell game. They’ve cut school funding to pay for income tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthiest Ohioans. This, of course, has only pushed the need for tax increases down to the local level where middle and low income Ohioans are being asked to hike their own property taxes in order to make up the shortfall.”