Reynoldsburg axing $2 million this year

Reynoldsburg schools will try again to pass a levy on the May ballot, according to school officials.

Superintendent Stephen Dackin said he would recommend to the school board that the levy be at a higher rate than the 6.9 mill issue that voters recently rejected.

"The question for the board is how much for how long before you have to come back for more millage," Dackin said.

In the meantime, due to the failure of the recent levy, $2 million will be cut from the budget by the end of the current school year. 

If voters reject a spring issue, then the district would trim an additional $6 million. "Cuts would be devastating," Dackin said.

In the past three years, the district has trimmed $3 million. Had it passed the levy would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home $211 per year and would have generated $5.3 million for the district.

But voters turned down the levy with 58 percent of voting Reynoldsburg residents saying no.

If voters had passed Issue 80, as the 6.9 mill operating levy was known, it would have kept the district financially solvent throughout the fiscal years of 2011, with an outside chance of 2012.

Because the operating levy did not pass, the district is facing a $4 million to $6 million budget deficit in 2009 and a $7 million budget deficit in 2010. At a town meeting held Oct. 23, Dackin said the district has exhausted every avenue of costs with the money generated from the 1997 operating levy, but as the district plans to open a new elementary school and high school in 2010, it was time to ask for the passage of a new one.

– Messenger staff writer Dedra Cordle contributed to this story

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