SIDNEY — Sidney City Schools hosted a public meeting, Thursday evening, in the Amos Memorial Library Community Room, during which Superintendent Bob Humble was ready to answer questions about the levy renewal issue which will be on the local ballot in November.
Attendance was light. In fact, just one Sidney resident showed up. Bill Warner and Humble discussed the history of recent school levy issues here and talked about the current state of the district.
“I’m hoping that everyone understands the absolute necessity of this (levy) and don’t have any questions,” Humble said when asked why he thought there weren’t more people in attendance.
Local voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether or not to approve a renewal for 10 years of a levy that was originally passed in 2009 and renewed in 2014.
“This is simply a renewal of an existing levy that supports the general operation of the school district,” according to an information card published by the district.
The 2009 levy was passed as a 9.9 mill emergency property tax levy, which brought in $4,550,691 annually. The current option is for a 9.23 mill property tax levy which is estimated to bring in $4,417,364.
“The renewal is actually for less money than the original,” Humble said. The funds would represent about 12.4 percent of the district’s $35 million operating budget.
When the levy was first passed, rollbacks were on the books, set by the Ohio legislature. A rollback means that the state, instead of Sidney residents, was paying a portion of the monies due the schools. If this levy is renewed, 10 percent and 2.5 percent rollbacks will continue. If it fails, when a new levy is passed in the future, there will be no rollbacks, because the state changed that law. Future levies will not qualify for rollbacks. So property owners would have to pay the full amount.
“That’s why it’s important to keep current levies,” Humble said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.