JACKSON CENTER — Voters in the Jackson Center Local School District will be voting on an income tax renewal when they go to the polls Tuesday, May 8.
The one-half of 1 percent (.5 percent) income tax expires at the end of 2018. The school district is seeking a contuation of the income tax beginning Jan. 1, 2019. The earned income of each resident of the district falls under the .5 percent income tax.
“This 0.5 percent earned income tax (EIT) represents about 5 percent of our total yearly revenue, so it’s important,” said Jackson Center Local Schools Treasurer Tony Meyer.
The district, said Meyer, originally put the EIT on in 2013 for a 5-year period. On Tuesday’s ballot, the district is seeking a continuing EIT.
“Our 0.5 percrnt EIT began in 2013, and was approved only for a 5-year period. We thought it best at the time to formally review after a 5-year period to see how things evolved – both revenues and expenditures. We now believe we need this for the foreseeable future to ensure we operate effectively,” he said. “So while this renewal is not a new tax, the term ‘continuing’ is the formal term the state uses for something that will be for a continuing period of time, or on-going – no longer just a 5-year period.
“If passed, we would not have to come back out every five years and re-explain the need, but we would operate in the same manner we always have, formally evaluating our needs and submitting our forecast to the state at least twice a year,” said Meyer.
A public school’s general fund can typically be spent anywhere, said Meyer. Many schools have supplemental funds that can only be spent on certain things. For example, he said, bond funds are only to pay off debt from issuing bonds to help fund building projects. Monies go directly from collections from, say, real estate, and go directly into these funds. Same for permanent improvement funds (PI) – which are in simplified terms, dollars collected to help maintain buildings.
“How these funds can be used is governed under the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) General fund dollars could be used for all of these, but not vice versa. But most often, one equates general fund dollars to those used for daily/monthly/yearly costs of doing business, including; Salary and Benefits, Supplies, Purchased Services (all third party services you need, but also utility costs etc.), capital improvement projects and other, miscellaneous expenses,” said Meyer.