TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – A Troy City Schools income tax levy failed Tuesday with 53% of votes against it.
The .25% income tax levy would have impacted only taxable income, not property taxes. For a person making $50,000 a year, about $2.40 a week would go to helping the school make up for a $1.7 million funding cut from the state since 2018.
Prior to the levy failing, Superintendent Chris Piper said the district was going out on a limb for new funding for operational costs since 2006.
“It’s been 14 years since the district has asked our stakeholders for additional operating dollars which is pretty unusual in the school business to wait that long,” he said.
This levy is not to be confused with a bond issue that didn’t pass in last Spring. The bond issue was to fund new school buildings. If the tax levy passed, none of the money would have been eligible to use for buildings. It would have gone to general operating costs. The school district said it planned to use the nearly $1.6 million annual funding increase for all day kindergarten, full time guidance counselors in all schools, 1-to-1 Chromebooks for students, extra and co-curricular activities and more.
Since the budget cuts over the last two years, the school district has cut 15 positions to save $1 million. The district will be forced to make even more cuts since the levy failed.
“It’s hard to find where to make those cuts where it won’t impact the kids deeply or directly because we don’t have a lot to cut from,” said Piper.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to eat away at the schools budget according to the superintendent.
“It certainly hasn’t made school cheaper there’ve been increased costs for us with purchasing PPE, cleaning supplies,” said Piper. “I think we spent a quarter of a million dollars on chromebooks and that was even after we got a local grant for another $100k. So a pretty significant cost for COVID related expenses.”
Ahead of polls closing, Piper sent one final plea to voters to choose the levy.
“Understand that Troy City Schools are of great value and I think our product that we put out is second to none,” he said.
For more information and an FAQ on the income tax levy, click here.