By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester Schools voters gave approved a five-year, no new taxes substitute emergency levy on May 7.
Unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections show 1,615 for the levy (79 percent) with 442 voting against it (21 percent). (This includes the votes from Fairfield County.)
“The passage of the renewal levy will keep us focused on our current programs and financial stability,” said Canal Winchester Schools Superintendent James Sotlar. “Great schools and great communities go hand-in-hand and this is a great day for both.”
Sotlar thanked the community for its support of the schools and students, as well as volunteers and staff on getting out information on the levy.
“Our schools are a great source of pride in the community and we will continue to find innovative ways to save taxpayer money while still providing our children with educational opportunities and career pathways for their future, said Sotlar.
Renewal of the levy provides over $6.2 million in revenue. The levy accounts for more than 15 percent of the district’s operating budget and—with its passage—allows the district to continue to receive additional income from new development, residential and commercial without impacting existing residents.
Sotlar previously said the levy was critical in providing financial stability and maintaining daily operations such as personnel costs, utilities, building improvements, curriculum and busing.
Because the levy is a renewal, it keeps a 12.5 percent state tax rollback in place, for which the state continues to pick up 12.5 percent of a property owner’s school tax.
According to Canal Winchester Schools Treasurer Nick Roberts, since the levy
was last renewed in 2014, the collected amount has gone down two mills as property values have increased. As property values go up, the district needs less to get to that $6.2 million and with new construction values added into the formula, individual tax bills could even go lower.