As we wrote about recently, Republican lawmakers slipped in a provision in the waning hours of the budget process that will soon cause property taxes to increase for all Ohioans. The provision, the elimination of the property tax rollback, means that property owners will be forced to pay an additional 12.5 percent on all new and replacement levies. Since the 1970’s that 12.5 percent was picked up by the state, but with the signing of the budget the state will no longer cover that cost. Going forward this means that tax bills will rise for all property owners, continuing the transfer of paying for government services from the state level to the local level. This change is already starting to affect local communities. On Tuesday, there was an excellent article on the increased tax burden property owners face in Upper Arlington, a suburb outside of Columbus. Upper Arlington Schools planned on placing a new levy on the November ballot for $6.3 million a year but school officials noted that the cost to homeowners increased significantly since the budget was signed into law. [Read more…]
Three of the six new money school levies on Tuesday’s special election ballots failed. The Midview levy passed with 62% voting in favor of the property tax. The Jackson Center levy passed after failing by only 3 votes in the November election. Waterloo Schools levy passed by just 25 votes, or 50-49%. The failure of the levies for the Hillsdale, Coventry and Edison districts could result in immediate consequences. Hillsdale may be forced to lay off as many as 19 staff members to close a $1.7 million deficit, and Edison has said it will eliminate busing and close an elementary school. The three levies that passed will add to the $487 million in new taxes Ohio residents have voted to put into effect since the Kasich budget — which left schools with $1.8 billion less funding — was introduced.
Voters in nine Ohio counties will vote on local school levies tomorrow. All of the levies to be considered are requests for new money. This seems to be the trend in the aftermath of Kasich’s $1.8 billion in cuts to school district funding. We have seen an unprecedented $1.1 billion in new property and income taxes for schools since Kasich’s last budget. On Tuesday, there will be 5 school districts asking for money to use on operating costs in 8 counties. There is also a levy on the ballot in Summit County, but it’s for construction projects so it’s not related to the schools who are struggling to maintain operation. [Read more…]
Research OverviewGovernor Kasich’s first two-year budget cut funding to education by $1.8 billion over the previous two year period. Administration critics have repeatedly said that a cut of this size would hobble school districts and shift responsibility for adequate school funding from the state to local taxpayers in the form of higher property and/or income taxes. Though the data was difficult to uncover, Innovation Ohio has succeeded in calculating the number of “new money” levies appearing on local ballots since Gov. Kasich introduced his budget in March, 2011. The numbers are staggering. Since May 2011, Ohio voters have considered an unprecedented $1.1 billion in new property and income taxes for schools. Voters passed just over 40% of that amount, approving school levies equal to $487 million in new taxes.
Dyer: Ohio’s reliance on property tax system to fund schools growing, not shrinking under KasichBack in October we released an analysis which showed that November school levy initiatives seeking ‘new money’ were the highest since 2008. Just last year, the administration of Gov. John Kasich and the GOP-led Ohio General Assembly cut $1.8 billion from Ohio public education. We believe there is a cause and effect relationship here and it boils down to this: Kasich’s cuts – while making the state budget look better – simply shifted the burden in many villages and cities around Ohio onto the backs of local property tax payers. Of course, in many cases, the levies failed. In those communities Kasich and his rubber stamp Statehouse shifted the burden onto Ohio kids who are losing teachers, bus service, extra-curricular activities and even hours out of the school day. Where new levies pass, the funding burden is shifting to more property taxes. As part of the project we posted several levy profiles on our blog, Innovation Station, and began maintaining a page dedicated to collecting our analysis, profiles and infographics on the topic, Kasich Cuts = More Levies. We want to wrap up the work from this fall, but we will continue to watch what we believe is going to be an unfortunate trend for some time to come in Ohio – more levies or more drastic cuts. A few things to remember about our work. First, we concentrated on ‘new money’ levies. This simply means that districts we looked at were coming to voters with requests for additional or new millage requests. We did not count renewal levies for instance when we pointed out that 83% of Ohio’s counties had new money levies on the ballot. When it came to the districts we chose to profile, there were two criteria. They had to be new money levies and the districts had to have a documented history of recent fairly drastic cuts. Through a review of Ohio local media, such districts – large and small – were not hard to find. One last note on why we chose to look at fall levies rather than all levies from both the spring and fall of this year. The chart to the right shows the success rate of renewal levies v. new levies during fall elections in Ohio. New money levies have a high rate of failure in fall elections. School boards know this. For a board to go to voters for new money in the fall is a sign that funding issues are getting to critical condition in that district. [Read more…]
News Release 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. [Read more…]