(Posted Dec. 6, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Following a recount, Madison-Plains Local Schools’ income tax levy passed by one vote.
The school district was on the Nov. 2 general election ballot, requesting a 10-year renewal of its 1.25 percent income tax levy for current operating expenses.
After polls closed on election night, unofficial results showed the levy passing 1,071-1,060. Totals include votes cast in Madison County, as well as Franklin and Fayette counties, home to a small number of residents eligible to vote on Madison-Plains issues.
A few weeks after the election, when the boards of election in each of the three counties conducted their official canvases, including provisional ballots and outstanding absentee ballots, the new vote tally for the levy was 1,083-1,082–putting the levy winning by one vote.
State law dictates an automatic recount when the difference between votes cast is equal to or less than one-half of 1 percent of the total votes cast for an issue. The Madison and Fayette county boards of election conducted their recounts on Nov. 29. The Franklin County board conducted its recount on Nov. 30. All vote tallies remained the same as in the official canvases, so the levy passed by one vote.
“It just reinforces, every vote counts,” said Abby Metheney, director of the Madison County Board of Elections.
Chad Eisler, superintendent of Madison-Plains Local Schools, thanked the voters for their support.
“Having the earned income tax renewed allows the school district to take one more step towards being financially healthy and stable which is very important for the work we are trying to do,” he said, adding that the stability allows the district to work on long-term planning related to personnel and programming.
“We have been working hard to be wise stewards of the resources our community has provided to us, and we will continue that. We have also been making progress academically, and we want to continue that work, as well. We are working to make the Madison-Plains Local School District a model of excellence in rural education,” he continued.
Madison-Plains’ income tax was first passed in May 2018 and went into effect in January 2019. It generates approximately $2.3 million per year and represents 15 percent of the school district’s general fund budget.
It is collected on earned income only. Earned income is defined as wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable wages. It is not collected on retirement earnings, social security, child support, interest, dividends, capital gains, unemployment benefits, welfare benefits, or disability and survivor benefits.
The levy’s funds go toward the district’s day-to-day expenses, such as employee salaries and benefits, books, utilities, and fuel.