School funding in Ohio can be complicated, but there are a few basics about levies that I’ve come to understand:
• Emergency Levy: This type of levy is submitted to the voters as a dollar amount. For example, “The emergency levy will raise $1 million per year.” An emergency levy can only be voted in for a period of time from one to five years, and expires after the time has elapsed unless renewed by a vote of the public.
• Permanent Improvement Levy: Permanent improvement levies for specific projects can last from one to five years. Permanent improvement levies for general on-going permanent improvements can be levied for a continuing period of time.
• Bond Issue: A bond issue is a tax, the proceeds of which can only be used to pay bonds and noted issued by school districts for the purposes of permanent improvements. Bond issues are normally used for building new or additions to buildings; proceeds of a bond issue cannot be used for operational costs.
Voters will find the renewal of an emergency levy for Elida Schools on the May 4 ballot. It’s important to understand that the renewal levy provides the school district with operating funds. In fact, the levy provides 13 percent of the district’s total operating budget. The renewal will allow the district to maintain fiscal stability, but it will not raise taxes or millage rates.
I hope you’ll join me in voting yes for the renewal levy.