September 16, 2014

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Lorain school board OKs tax proposal for November ballot that would raise $8.2 million annually

LORAIN — A proposed 1.5 percent earned income tax that would raise about $8.2 million annually for Lorain Schools will be on the November ballot with this evening’s approval by the Board of Education.

While the vote was unanimous, passage was done reluctantly with board members acknowledging taxpayers are overburdened. They said the state’s elimination of the Tangible Personal Property Tax to help fund schools, and Gov. John Kasich and fellow Republicans embrace of publicly funded, privately run charter schools have deprived the district of desperately needed money.

“Every time we turn around, we’re getting taxed for something, but the reality is the only way to fund public education right now is on the backs of the taxpayers,” board President Tony Dimacchia said. “We didn’t create that animal. We just have to survive with it.”

Dimacchia said the proposed permanent levy — which would only be paid for by people living in the Lorain school district — is more equitable than a property tax which would only be paid by homeowners. Without passage of the tax — which would exclude capital gains, dividends and pensions — the district faces a projected $11.4 million deficit in the 2012-13 school year.

See Thursday’s Chronicle-Telegram for additional details.