More Than Half of Ohio School Levies Passed
Lots of school-related tax issues popped up on ballots during this year's election.And according to unofficial results, more than 60 percentof those nearly 200 issues passed.The majority of voters seemed to side with tax renewals, but voted against levies that asked for tax increases.
The Ohio School Boards Association said that 42 of 116 new school tax issues, or about 36 percent, were approved. Seventy-four of 76 school tax renewal issues passed, which comes out to about a 97 percent passing rate.Damon Asbury, a lobbyist with the school boards association, told StateImpact Ohio that’s typically been the case in recent years.[related_content align="right"]“New money issues are having difficulty passing,” Asbury said. “Renewals and replacements are passing relatively, well not easily, but they’re passing at a higher rate. And that’s the usual trend we’ve seen over the past several years. Requesting additional, new dollars is a very tough issue for voters to approve.”One possible reason for that lower passing rate could be the elimination of a 12.5 percent state property tax subsidy that took effect this election.Homeowners will now have to foot 100 percent of the bill on these new taxes.“Our speculation has been that it will make it more difficult to pass levies because the voters, the local homeowners, property owners, will be paying the full tax rate as opposed to the state picking up a share of it,” Asbury explained.But he said it’s still too soon to tell if this was a deal breaker.This year's passing rate seemed to be on par with rates from the past few years.Voters approved 55 percent of school tax issues in November 2012, 51 percent in November 2011, and 62 percent in November 2009, according to the school boards association.