Pickerington passes its levy

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Voters approved a five-mill levy for Pickerington Local Schools by an unofficial margin of 5,734 for the levy to 5,139 against.

"I am honored to be part of this great community and school district," said Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia.  "Pickerington Local Schools takes this victory as a sign of support for our teachers and children, but also as a mandate to keep up and even intensify our reform efforts.  We need to stretch every dollar and be totally accountable to the taxpayers including those who do not have kids in the schools. Pickerington Local Schools will be effective, efficient and transparent with the use of these tax dollars."

The levy replaces a five-mill that voters originally approved in 1994 and have since renewed twice. Had the voters not approved the issue, the district would have lost $2.8 million per year for operating expenses including staff, textbooks, utilities and transportation.

The replacement levy updated the millage rate to reflect the current property values. As a result, the owner of a $100,000 home should expect to pay an additional $68.55 in taxes per year.

The levy will not return to the ballot for renewal although residents will vote on a different, larger levy before the end of 2008. District Communications Director Amanda Morris said it has not been determined when the 7.9 mill levy will be placed on the ballot.

"Yesterday’s win at the polls is an important first step in honoring our Contract with the Community," Mantia said. "The community has supported us on this issue and soon we will begin discussing the 7.9 mill operating issue that expires in December 2008. The success of both issues will allow the district to open the three new schools currently under construction and remain off the ballot for instructional dollars for four fiscal years."

"I want to personally thank all of our volunteers and staff members that assisted with Issue 8. Parents, community members, teachers and administrators came together to achieve this goal for our students. It is because of their work that we can move forward together with the business of education," Mantia said.

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