"Groveport Madison board members decided last night to send four levy options to the Franklin County auditor; Dublin schools administrators presented the school board with a combined levy-bond issue on Monday.
Other local districts have been considering similar plans. Hilliard school-board members are trying to determine the size of that district's tax request, and the Westerville school board is studying options for a possible fall election, including an emergency levy or an earned-income tax.
Districts have until Aug. 10 to place tax requests on the November ballot."
That's just the beginning here in Central Ohio and certainly around the state.
Now many of the districts will be howling very loudly that the reason they have to go to the ballot is the recently passed budget. What many may neglect to mention is that they were probably already projecting large scale, multi-million dollar deficits over the next five yearsBEFORE Governor Kasich ever took office.
These charts pulled together by the Buckeye Institute show that there is an aggregate deficit for schools around the state north of $7 billion and, just to re-emphasize, this was before the current budget was even introduced, much less passed.
Further, these projections are based on each district's own numbers which were submitted to the Ohio Department of Education. They are simply staggering.
Before you pull the lever at the ballot this Fall for more taxes for your schools, you might want to ask why these deficits exist and ask that they not just try to blame the Governor. You might want to ask why over 90 percent of the costs are in personnel. You might want to ask why they aren't dealing with those costs.
After all, as the Buckeye Institute shows in the charts, a 10 percent reduction in compensation that is then indexed to inflation would cut a great deal of costs BEFORE going to taxpayers. Could it be that collective bargaining and its associated costs and constraints have fed this beast?
By the way, for taxpayers in Dublin, Hilliard and Westerville should also be quite concerned. According to this graphic, their property values have declined 5.5, 5.6 and 7.1 percent respectively. This means, pay more with less and do it to keep paying for compensation packages.www
Bottom line- "Levymania" will soon be upon us all. Its time to ask the hard questions and not just let the blame game go on for yet another cycle.