Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools seek 7.5-mill levy

Local News

BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) – Bellbrook and Sugarcreek Township residents are voting on a 7.5-mill replacement levy that would go to the schools.

The school superintendent said it is ahead of a $3 million deficit but it’s getting some backlash.

The current levy that was passed in 1981 brings in about $1 million a year.

The district superintendent, Dr. Dough Cozad, said this levy would bring in an additional $3 million which would bring it up to todays standard and would help the A-rated district keep up its current operations.

“We get about 27 percent of our funding from the state, the state average is 44 percent,” said Cozad. “Also, like a lot of other school districts, we have a lot of underfunded or unfunded mandates. Just last year we had about $3 million in unfunded or underfuned mandates.”

The district said the money would be used to purchase technology, replace old buses, and keep up with competitive salaries to attract good teachers.

But those salaries are why John Stafford, a Bellbrook resident, adamantly opposes the levy.

“They’re going to raise almost $4 million, and the thing about that is, none of that is going to the kids,” said Stafford. “What’s happening is, they’re having to raise that money to cover teachers and administrative salaries.”

This levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 house an additional $211 per year. 

But Stafford said Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Township residents already have one of the highest property tax rates in the state.

“We have the senior citizens and first time homebuyers that are not going to be able to afford to live here if this levy passes,” said Stafford.

if the levy does not pass in May, the board could vote to put it up again on the November ballot.

Both sides encourage residents to become educated on the issue, and there is an opportunity at the school board meeting Thursday night.

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