By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester school district voters will decide on a 10.2 mill, five-year substitute levy when they go to the polls on Nov. 7.
Canal Winchester Schools officials said the levy would generate nearly $7 million for operating expenses.
The annual $6.8 million collection accounts for 12 percent of the district’s yearly revenue.
Despite the name, district officials assure the voting public the levy is not a new tax. It is a renewal of an existing one. The current levy expires at the end of 2024.
“The approval of the substitute levy would continue current collections,” said Canal Winchester Schools Treasurer Nick Roberts. “It’s really important for us to think ahead and plan our budget. According to the law, we only get a few chances to renew the current levy. So, voting this November helps us continue to manage our budget responsibly and plan for the future.”
The current substitute emergency levy started in 2009 and was renewed in 2011, 2014, and 2019.
“The levy is an important part of our ability to maintain a balanced budget for the last seven years,”said Roberts, “but we like to check in every five or 10 years to make sure it’s still needed. Money from the state and the federal government, along with our local taxes, has helped us balance our budget annually. In fact, we haven’t had to ask for extra tax money from our community since 2009 because of this combined support.”
If renewed, the annual cost for $100,000 in home valuation is $357. If it is not renewed, the district has their next chance for approval in March 2024.
Canal Winchester Schools has until the end of 2024 to renew the substitute levy. If it does not pass by that time, expenditures would begin to exceed revenues and deficit spending could start in fiscal year 2025.
Unlike other types of property levies, a substitute levy applies the same tax rate to new construction in the district. If new houses or businesses are built, the district will receive additional revenue from new taxpayers.
Funds generated by the levy are used for operating expenses including supplies, materials, salaries, benefits, utilities, fuel for buses, learning platforms, professional development, and security.