2013-01-19 / News

Lakewood levy renewal will reduce tax rate

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON – It’s rare that renewing a levy will reduce its tax rate.

But that’s what Lakewood’s 5.24 mill, five-year emergency renewal levy, set for the May 7 ballot, will do if approved. “Property values in the district have gone up since the 2008 levy renewal. Since emergency levies are for fixed dollar amounts, the millage needed to produce the same fixed dollar amount is less,” said Lakewood Treasurer Glenna Plaisted. The bottom line is, “The taxpayers will be paying less.”

Plaisted explained the full amount of the levy renewal is $2,353,259 but the taxpayers would be paying $2,058,646. The difference, she said, is a $294,613 reimbursement from the state. “If the school district continues to renew this emergency levy the state will continue to pay the tangible personal property reimbursement amount attached to this levy,” said Plaisted. “If the district would not pass this renewal and have to go back for new monies, then the district would not receive this reimbursement from the state.”

Plaisted said voters last renewed the levy on March 4, 2008, at 5.8 mills. The third renewal will be on the May 7 ballot. A renewal at 5.24 mills would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $160.48 per year, which is $17.15 less than in 2008.

She added that – based on the district’s five-year financial forecast – if voters renew the levy, the district won’t need to return to the ballot for five years, assuming there are no significant cuts in state or federal funding.

“That’s a good story to tell,” said board member Trisha Good during the board’s regular Jan. 9 meeting.

In other district news:

• Superintendent Jay Gault said there are security measures in place throughout the district, including buzzer systems to restrict entrance to buildings during school hours. He said the district hired the company that was installing a camera system in Hebron Elementary to install buzzer systems as well. Very soon, all district buildings will have camera and buzzer systems.

Gault said the district lost its school resource officer roughly two years ago, but the district is hiring a special duty officer with district funds to randomly monitor schools. Gault is the only one who knows the officer’s schedule, which will be unpredictable to everyone else.

• Plaisted said the state recently distributed a total of $37 million in casino revenue to Ohio school districts. Lakewood received $41,839. However, that income has already been slated to help the athletic department cover the costs of transportation to and from events as a one-time only offering to the department.

• During the board’s organizational meeting, which took place shortly ahead of the regular meeting, board members reelected Judy White as board president and Good was elected as vice president. Both were unchallenged for their posts.

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