On Nov. 8, voters residing in the Delaware City School District will vote on a 5.8-mill substitute renewal levy, which if approved, would result in no increase in taxes.
Delaware City Schools Treasurer/CFO Melissa Swearingen said the 5.8-mill levy is a substitution of a 8.35-mill levy that was approved by voters in 2017. If passed, the levy will provide the district with $6.2 million annually. Swearingen said the cost of the levy will remain at $203 annually for a home with $100,000 of valuation.
Swearingen said the levy was originally approved at 8.35 mills in order to generate $6.2 million, but the increased property values in the county have caused the millage rate to drop to 5.8 in order to collect the same amount.
The levy, she added, is necessary to prevent a deficit in funding for the district.
“The current levy expires at the end of 2022, therefore this stream of revenue (of $6.2 million annually) will not continue without the renewal,” Swearingen said. “The substitute levy would continue to fund operations in our district, including teachers, transportation, educational programming, utilities and many other day-to-day expenses.”
Last year, the state of Ohio approved the fair school funding plan, which removed gain caps that were preventing millions of state dollars from reaching Delaware, but Swearingen said the district is still not receiving all the funding dictated by the formula.
“The district continues to receive less state funding than what the current funding formula calculates,” Swearingen said. “The increased funding is being phased in, but that phase in is currently capped at 33%. For (fiscal year) 2023, the district will receive about $5.35 million less than the funding formula dictates. We have an immediate need to continue the operations of the district. We are not asking for additional tax dollars, but to continue to collect what we are currently receiving.”
Swearingen that if the levy fails, the district will have to implement $6.2 million in budget reductions.
If approved, the levy would take effect in January.