JACKSON CENTER — Voters in Jackson Center will vote on a property tax renewal of a 1.0 mill permanent improvement levy when they go to the polls on Tuesday, March 17. The levy, if renewed, will generate approximately $52,650 per year for Jackson Center schools.
The renewal is to provide funds for general permanent improvements for the school district and can only be used for capital improvement projects, maintenance and repairs of school property and the purchase of certain equipment items expected to last five years or longer. Permanent improvement funds can also be used for the purchase of computers, buses and vans. Ohio law prevents these funds from being used on staff salaries or benefits.
While buses are only one item that the levy is used for, they are a larger, more consistent item purchased by the school district. Jackson Center currently has five bus routes and the most recently purchased bus was a 72-passenger, handicap accessible bus at $102,000.
A property owner with a house valued at $50,000 can expect to pay $1 per month, whereas a property owner will pay around $5.50 per month on a house valued at $300,000. The levy has been approved every five years since the levy’s initial approval in 1975. If it is renewed again this year, it will be for a continuing period and will no longer be voted on every five years. This change will allow the district to plan for items supported by permanent improvement revenue.
“There’s no increase, this is just a straight renewal,” Superintendent Bill Reichert said. “This is important because obviously, buses wear out, computers wear out, we still have to replace boilers. There’s some impact if we can’t pay for it out of these funds, we have to use other funds.”
Reichert said that the most important thing for voters to remember when they go to vote Tuesday is that the renewal is nothing new, and that it has been on the ballot for the past 50 years.
“This isn’t the first time our voters have seen this, and I think they have a pretty good idea of what that money is being used for,” Reichert said. “The only difference would be that we’re looking to change it from five years to a more permanent improvement.”
Also on the ballot in the area is a propert tax renewal for residents in Port Jefferson of 1.0 mill for five years beginning in 2020 and first due in 2021. If approved, the renewal will provide and maintain ambulance and medical services to residents.
Residents in Russia, Houston and Mount Jefferson will vote on a property tax of 2.6 mills for five years, beginning in 2020 and first due in 2021. If approved, the funds from the levy will provide and maintain fire apparatus, equipment and appliances.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.