The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 23, 2013

Jefferson schools to place renewal levy on November ballot

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Jefferson Area Local School District voters will be asked to renew another tax levy come November.

In a special meeting Monday morning, school board officials voted to place a renewal of a five- year 5-mill operating levy on the November ballot, said Patricia Smith, treasurer.

“The important thing for voters to remember is this is not any new money,” she said.

The levy generates about $488,418 per year for the district and is used to offset operating expenses. The last time it was put up for renewal was May 2009, she said.

Smith said she believes the levy was first passed in 2004.

The levy will cost voters, with property valued at $100,000, about $175 per year or $14.58 per month, Smith said. When a 12.5 percent rollback is factored in, the average cost is about $150 per year, she said.

The school district had a difficult time passing a 4.5-mill renewal levy last year. The measure failed once and eventually passed in May.

If the levy doesn’t pass, the district has the option to place it on the ballot a second time, and Smith said that is what it will do.

“Of course we would need to do that,” she aid. “If we exhaust all our renewal options, we would lose the funding.”

The Jefferson Area Local School District operates on a $14.8 million budget. The district relies on the revenue from the levies as well as state funding, which has been cut in recent years, federal grants, miscellaneous operating revenues that come in, interest earnings on investments and open enrollment as well as other revenue sources, Smith said.