LORAIN – A seven-year emergency property tax levy that would raise up to $3.1 million annually for Lorain Schools is close to being placed on the November ballot.
Board of Education members Wednesday evening unanimously approved sending the proposal to Lorain County Auditor Mark Stewart, who will determine the exact millage, between 4.5 mills and 5.2 mills.
An emergency levy would allow Stewart to adjust the mill rate to keep collections at around $3 million if it were approved, should property values decrease or increase.
“We have no choice but to attempt to raise more money because we’re broke,” board member Jim Smith said before board members met.
However, with nearly $4.7 million of a projected $12 million deficit remaining, School Treasurer Dale Weber said even if the levy were approved, the school district will likely declare insolvency by April. Insolvency would trigger a takeover by the Ohio Board of Education and a loss of local control and voter disenfranchisement.
A five-member state panel would control finances and likely make more cuts.Due to a shrinking local tax base, federal and state tax cuts and competition from charter schools and open enrollment, the district has been forced to layoff 182 employees during the last school year including 93 teachers. Nine were later recalled due to retirements.
See Thursday’s Chronicle-Telegram for the full story.
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or email@example.com.