The school board approved resolutions Wednesday night for three, five-year emergency levies to submit to the school district electors for $3 million, $2.75 million and $2.5 million.
“They are not typos,” said Ryan Pendleton, the district’s treasurer/chief financial officer. “They are three separate levy resolutions. It’s the board declaring their intent; it is saying to the [Board of Elections] that we’re going to consider three actions between now and Feb. 4 in accordance to a five-year levy emergency.”
Pendleton said the reasoning for three levies deals with current property values and how those affect the millage rate, or mills.
This is the amount per $1,000 used to calculate taxes on properties. School boards use mills to calculate local school taxes they can collect from property owners, according to investopedia.com.
The district’s failed $3.5 million emergency levy in November 2011 corresponded with property values deflating in Barberton, 10 percent in residential and 20 percent in commercial and industrial. This caused millage to decrease.
Now that property values have changed, Pendleton explained that millage will be different as well.
“We’re pushing eight years since our last operating levy,” Pendleton said. “I wish I could sit here today and say it’s going to buy us another eight years, but this is definitely a different time in how property values are around the state of Ohio, let alone the United States.”
During the next several weeks, the board will look over different levy options for the district and gather input from the community.
“We know there are tough economic times, and I think that’s what gives us the flexibility to have that due diligence we talk about internally, and that we’re not walking ourselves into something that we didn’t seriously look at,” board member Megann Eberhart said.
Eberhart said they have launched a registration drive to ensure that every resident, and “especially every parent who entrusts their children to us on a regular basis,” is registered to vote on the May ballot.
The certification deadline for the levies is Feb. 6. The school board will have a meeting Feb. 4 to approve their levy submissions to the Summit County Board of Elections of what millage and dollar amount they will set for the levies.