2009-08-22 / News

Treasurer confirms Lakewood school taxes are less than Granville's

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON - Are real estate taxes for Licking Township residents within the Lakewood School District rivaling those of the notoriously high Granville Township and Granville School District? A Licking Township resident definitely thinks so, although the Licking County treasurer disagrees.

Licking Township resident Randy Anderson attended last week's Lakewood School Board meeting and asked members to postpone an 8.9 mills levy slated for the November ballot. He told members he moved to Licking Township two years ago and has experienced tax hikes since. "These taxes are going up," said Anderson, adding that he thought the taxes for Licking Township residents living within the Lakewood School District are rivaling Granville Township's. He said Lakewood isn't rated as high as Granville academically and believes Lakewood should have an equal academic rating if it's going to raise its taxes to a similar level.

"This is very bad timing for a tax levy," said Anderson.

Board President Joe Bowman, Jr. asked Anderson to take his tax card to the Licking County Administration Building and ask someone to discuss the tax situation between the two districts with him. "We're not anywhere close to (Granville's)," he said. Bowman said he thought Lakewood's taxes were comparatively lower than most area districts and certainly lower than Granville's.

"We have explored options; we don't take this lightly," said board member Judy White. "Our options are few at this point."

Licking County Treasurer Michael Smith said a Licking Township resident in the Lakewood School district pays nearly 30 percent less in overall taxes than a Granville Township resident in the Granville School district. He calculated as if both districts passed an 8.9 mills levy when he figured that an owner of a $200,000 house in that

Granville Township pays a total of $4,523.42 in taxes whereby a Licking Township resident pays $3,137.22.

In other school board news:

• White gave a short presentation on the progress of the Licking County Children's Reading Foundation and its campaign to convince parents to read to their children 20 minutes per day from birth to kindergarten so children are already familiar with reading when they begin formal schooling.

According to the foundation's web site, getting your child ready to read is getting your child ready to succeed in school. Schools deliver 85 percent of the curriculum using printed words in books, written words on chalkboards and digitized words on computer screens. Reading is the most fundamental skill your child will use during his or her 12-20 years as a student.

Children who read succeed, in school and in life. The simple act of enjoying books together every day from birth through third grade establishes essential reading skills while building warm relationships. Your love and time are priceless. The reading skills you nurture are worth a quarter of a million dollars. For every year you read with your child, average lifetime earnings increase by $50,000. You make a $250,000 gift to your child from birth to age five by reading aloud, just 20 minutes a day!

• Superintendent Jay Gault said the first day of school is Aug. 24, and there will be a short public presentation at 7:30 a.m.

• Board members discussed placing schools policies on line so people could just print what they need from home and the school district wouldn't waste the paper necessary to print new policy books continually. Bowman said it's one step in "going green."

• Board members did not discuss the possibility of school uniforms.

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