To the editor:
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, Sidney City Schools will be asking voters to renew, for 10 years, the 9.23 mill Emergency Property Tax Levy which originally passed in November 2009 and was renewed in May 2014.
Because it is simply a renewal, there is a continuation of two property tax credit programs, the 10 percent rollback and the 2.5 percent rollback. Should we not renew this levy, these rollbacks will be lost as new levies do not qualify for the rollbacks.
The emergency levy will expire at the end of 2018. The renewal of this levy will ensure that the district can maintain student programs, educational services, instruction, and support at current levels. If this levy is not renewed, the district will lose $4.4 million in funding from an annual budget of $36 million, which is a 12 percent loss.
Through solid financial decisions and actively managing the ever-increasing cost of education and student services, the district has been able to maintain a positive cash balance.
The current 5-year forecast is in the black through fiscal year (FY) 2021, however, that is dependent upon renewing the expiring emergency levy. Beginning in FY 2022, the forecast shows the district in the red. There are a few factors which play into that including uncertainties in the state funding formula, increased expenses to serve student needs, and minimal increase in property tax collections due to limited growth in real-estate development.
We are both graduates of Sidney High School in the 1960s. Our two kids graduated from Sidney High School and we currently have three grandsons attending Sidney City Schools, two at the high school and the other at the middle school.
When we were in school, our parents, grandparents and many in the community supported our schools and all of the kids attending those schools. We think it’s time to continue supporting our schools and make them the best possible for the current students of Sidney City Schools.
We believe that it’s time to pay it forward and encourage all voters living in the Sidney City School District to support this Renewal Levy.
Mark & Joyce Deam