November 21, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain board decides to go for income, not property, tax

LORAIN — Reversing course, Lorain Schools Board of Education members now favor a 1.5 percent earned income tax November ballot proposal, rather than a combination earned income tax-property tax.

Board members Wednesday night conditionally approved the proposal and are expected to give final approval Aug. 3. The permanent levy would raise about $8.2 million annually. On July 12, the board conditionally approved a combination earned income-tax-property tax proposal.

Without passage, the district faces an $11.4 million deficit in the 2012-13 school year. Even with passage, the school district faces projected deficits of about $4.78 million, $9.29 million and $15.9 million in the next three years.

While the deficits could lead to more layoffs — 27 teachers were laid off in May — board Chairman Tony Dimacchia said after the meeting it was unrealistic to seek a bigger levy to completely eliminate the deficits. District voters have not passed a levy increase for the schools since 1992.

Dimacchia said the income tax was “more equitable than a property tax paid for solely by homeowners.”

“We’re not going to the community for what we really need,” he said. “We’re going to them to get what’s really going to help us.”

See Thursday’s Chronicle-Telegram for additional details.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.