August 27, 2014

Elyria
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Property tax hikes on the way for Lorain County residents

All Lorain County property owners will see higher property tax bills, but those living in the Midview school district are expected to see the largest jump, according to Lorain County Auditor Craig Snodgrass.

In that school district, which encompasses five taxing districts, the owner of a $100,000 home will pay approximately $366 more in property taxes.

“We have heard from some people that they’re going up a thousand dollars on their tax bills,” Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass said the increase can be attributed to a 10-year, 9.75-mill property tax levy that was approved by voters in February. The tax levy will raise $4.6 million annually for Midview Schools.

Snodgrass said Midview’s increase is the most dramatic and unique.

When the school levy was on the ballot in February, property values in the district had not yet been certified by the state. Snodgrass said the millage had to be adjusted later because of declining property values after a reappraisal.

“It was voted on at one rate at a higher value,” he said. “We need to guarantee the money comes in, so based upon valuation, if the value goes up, we can knock that rate down a little.”

Four countywide levies — a Lorain County Community College renewal levy with an increase, a Board of Developmental Disabilities replacement levy, a 911 replacement levy with increase and a Criminal Justices Services Levy — accounted for a 1.24 millage increase for all taxing districts.

With the passage of levies, Avon Lake school district will also see a sizable increase, with the owner of a $100,000 home paying $281.15 more in property taxes.

In the Columbia school district, homeowners will pay $228.40 more.

Snodgrass said there are various considerations when looking at tax rates.

New construction can lessen the tax burden — the amount gets spread out over more properties — while property devaluations and demolitions can increase the amount property owners will have to pay.

As the values of some properties shrank, other property owners will have to pay more in order for tax levies for schools and other entities to continue to collect the same amount of money, Snodgrass said.

The Lorain school district, for example, experienced a $1.8 million decrease in property values from 2012 to 2013, likely due to a large number of demolitions and Board of Revisions cases, in which property owners appeal what the county says their homes are worth, according to Snodgrass.

Snodgrass, who lives in Lorain but who is in the Amherst school district, saw the value of his home remain the same, but he’ll see his taxes rise, he said.

Last year, Snodgrass said he paid approximately $4,700 in property taxes. This year, he’ll pay $4,808 due to the countywide levies.

“There was not enough growth, districtwise, to really offset any of (the county levies),” he said.

Snodgrass said the devaluation of the NRG plant, which is expected to drain $1.3 million in annual revenue from the Avon Lake school district and $158,000 from the city, shifted more responsibility to homeowners to make up the lost revenue.

“It really offset the gains in value that they have,” he said.

More information on tax rates is available at the Lorain County auditor’s website.

Information will also be published on the Lorain County Auditor’s Office’s Facebook page.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

  • onesears

    Not a bad racket for something deemed illegal and unconstitutional. Maybe these homeowners should look into a class action lawsuit to stop this illegal taxation. The state must be forced into changing the way schools are funded!

    • Mark B

      Sign me up for the Class Action

    • flyboySR20

      The only way to prevent this is to actively campaign against your tax levies. It’s clear that most school districts don’t budget their money properly and spend money they don’t have. Columbia Schools did just that by borrowing to balance their budget. How do you balance a budget by going deeper in to the red? Can’t people see that by doing that, they set a bad example of how to educate the community’s children in basic arithmetic, and they are indoctrinating the children that more tax money re-instates mandatory programs that already have enough general funding, like the free/reduced breakfast/lunch program at Columbia that was mysteriously was reinstated?

    • stop ur whining

      right…..that is why it is happening…but it is illegal….right….peoples limited understanding of the law is hilarious and tragic at the same time.

      I also find it hilarious that most of the people complaining would be the same voices angry when their city falls into disrepair and becomes a pit. You want a nice safe place to live and raise a family…you are going to have to pay for it. Rarely do you hear complaining about taxes from residents of cuyahoga county communities like Westlake, Bay, River, Lakewood. But you also do hear about large amounts of crime and terrible schools either.

      You get what you pay for folks

      • Mark B

        Well it is different when you see a tax increase and also improved services , but when it is all tax increases and no improvements then it becomes a problem .

        • stop ur whining

          We are pessimistic by nature and always highlight the negative and skim over the positive. That is not just politics, but life.

          For example, Midview. That levy does not pass and you could have a massive drop in enrollment due to cutting sports and other activities. Without good schools you have no new blood and your town dies. When your town dies a criminal element moves in. Look at elyria. Yea they have a nice new high school, but that was after failed levy after failed levy left the school district a joke.

          Believe me, i fully understand your argument and no one is ever going to be 100% happy. Just saying it could be worse.

  • taxpayer89

    Ours went up last year. This sucks.

  • SniperFire

    Only property owners should vote on property taxes. Freeloaders voting themselves other people’s money is immoral.

    • Sue Lawson

      I agree.

    • Henry

      In socialist Oberlin the college kids, seeking to punish the hated middle class, the bourgeoisie, block-vote for every tax increase, saddling property owners with a lifelong burden while laughing up their sleeves knowing that they themselves will never pay one red cent.

  • oldruss

    It is deceptive, to say the least, when a school district places a levy on the ballot for a certain amount, and the county auditor says that based on a $100,000 home, the levy will cost homeowners “X” dollars. Then, after the election, the county auditor, unilaterally, changes the millage to a higher amount, because, supposedly, the valuation of the district went down after the election.

    This happened in the Amherst Exempted Village School District too, when the county auditor raised the millage after it was approved by the voters, because homes in Lorain’s CRA (Amherst School District) were exempted from taxation, making the burden on the rest of the homeowners in the Amherst School District that much more.

    It may all be legal, but when the county auditor pretends that a levy will cost homeowners a certain amount, the county auditor should be honest and above board, and tell the public that when the next valuation is done it is expected that the overall valuation of the district will be lower, meaning that a higher millage will be automatically imposed. It is out and out dishonest otherwise.

    • flyboySR20

      It’s not just the county auditor–they only have the figures they have at hand. It’s up to the entity floating the levy to inform the voters what can happen as time goes by with adjustments that can happen. They, mostly school districts, fail to disclose all of what people need to know to make an intelligent decision on whether or not they should back the levy being presented. The reason why the example of a $100K home is used is because it’s easier for someone to do the math from that point to figure out what their own house would be assessed. Or, at least, I would hope people out there are smart enough to see that they’re going to get assessed more than the $100K house gets assessed…..! Forgot, that’s the math the school districts teach–no thought process, no requirement to get the answers correct, just credit for “trying.”

      • oldruss

        In point of fact, it is the county auditor who sets the amount of mills that will be on the ballot. It is also the county auditor who raises the millage if there is an evaluation of property which lowers property values. The school district gets $X from the levy, and the millage is adjusted by the county auditor accordingly.

        What is deceptive is for the county auditor to set the millage at, say, 9.25 mills, knowing that a property valuation is going to be done shortly after the election, and that it is likely that the total assessed valuation of the district will be lower, meaning that the levy will have to have a higher millage than the announced 9.25 mills.

  • John Boy

    I support education for our children, but I don’t see how they can change the rules in the middle of the game. I don’t live in Midview school district, but this would sway my vote on any future elections.

    • flyboySR20

      And, it should sway your vote and everyone else’s. Dishonesty is the root of all problems in governmental spending, and school districts are right up there on top.

  • Earl K.

    More money to shovel into the mouths of the fat union pigs. Pathetic. I live in Elyria and have seen my house payment go up 20% in 4 years, due entirely to levies.

    • Tommy Peel

      When you don’t have anyone else to blame, blame it on the unions.

      • Joe Smith

        Its usually true

      • Simon Jester

        Would you be suggesting that the schools are not run by Unions?

        • Mark B

          They shouldn’t be.

          • Simon Jester

            Goes without saying.

    • Barbara Radke

      That’s a pretty terrible thing to call your neighbors, fellow citizens and probably people in your own family that are union members.

      • Earl K.

        I stand by what I said. More money does not benefit the schools in ANY way. It simply gets routed to the unions and from there into the coffers of the dumbocrats. And yes, there are a couple of union members in my family who don’t join by choice. They have their dues forcibly taken out of there paychecks each and every week. This is what Senate bill 5 was intended to stop. Let’s see how their membership rolls look when this stops:

        http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/membership-in-public-worker-unions-takes-a-hit-under-act-10-b9957856z1-216309111.html

        Oh, by the way, I have union representation at my job as well though I don’t need it. I show up each and every day on time and do a great job. I am not going to pay those lazy pigs one dime..

  • Mark B

    This continues to happen year after year , people start voting NO on these Levy’s and get out there and vote!
    Coming up this next vote there is going to be another Levy for the city of Elyria, Another Levy for the Elyria Library, another levy for Lorain County and I am sure a couple more by the time election rolls around. This needs to stop .

  • flyboySR20

    It’s so easy to VOTE NO. Register to vote and apply to get your absentee ballot. No need to go to the polls–JUST SIT AT YOUR TABLE AND VOTE AT HOME. If you don’t trust the post office in your area to handle your ballot correctly, take it to the Board of Elections and hand it to the personnel there. That’s what I’ve been doing for as long as we have all been permitted to vote by absentee ballot. So easy, so effective.

  • fortheluvof

    and beat down goes on…..

  • Bluesky

    The way this county elects their politicians purely by party affiliation (or union affiliation) is the reason we are getting worthless politicians that only know how to raise taxes and fees.

    • Sue Lawson

      Sadly these taxes were voted on and passed by voters.

      • Mark B

        Yes but just like Elyria with the recent charter amendment , now they can come at us twice a year for more money , especially on the voting cycle that has no major issues on the ballot and there is minimal voter turn out that is when they slide in the tax increases. This City and county is Shameful

        • flyboySR20

          Columbia Local Schools does this all the time, especially when the retirees are in warmer areas of the country in the earlier months of the year and may forget to check the Board of Elections site to see if they should get themselves absentee ballots.

  • William

    I raise the rent whenever property taxes go up to ensure tenants (sort of) pay for the taxes in a way.

    • Sue Lawson

      You should…

    • Pablo Jones

      And if you can great. Unfortunately there are multiple places to rent and some people are stuck eating the increase in taxes because it is still cheaper then still paying the taxes and having no rent. Sadly the majority of the apartment complexes and rental homes in the area can’t raise the rent. (nice place in nice area easier to raise rent, average place in average area not so easy.)

      • William

        Pretty much every apartment complex in Elyria raises the rent every year or every other year by a few dollars. Which ones are you talking about that don’t? Raising it by 5 dollars a month takes care of the taxes and I am sure no one is going to move out over 5 dollars a month. Section 8 even raises rent nearly every year.

        • Pablo Jones

          It’s been awhile since I priced things in Elyria. From my friends in apartments in the Toledo Area rents haven’t increased and there are apartment complexes offering 1-2 months free. One friend told them went to them and said why are you raising my rent when you are offering a month free to try and bring people in. If you raise mine I’ll leave and get a free month somewhere else. 5-10 dollars a month is up to $120 a year add that to free rent and they will leave.

          Section 8 charges whatever the state will pay.

  • Sue Lawson

    The Midview tax will never go away because in 10 yrs. they’ll put it on the ballot as a renewal tax. Of course they’ll say, “it won’t raise taxes.” I am tired of schools saying people don’t care when a levy fails. Maybe they should take their concerns to the governor who refuses to do anything about it. I have written and called the governor, the schools can too. I was surprised at the number of things we property owners pay for; Local School, Metro Parks, Child Services, LCCC, JVS, Developmental Disabilities (what is this), Mental Health, TB Clinic, Anti-Drug. The only thing that should be on the property taxes is money for police, fire, and roads. People please contact the governor. You too schools!!!!

    • oldruss

      And what is your idea for funding the schools? The Metro Parks? Children’s Services? LCCC? And all the other services that the county provides through the property tax? I disagree with how the county auditor changed the amount of the property tax after the election, as I posted above, but to do away with it altogether doesn’t sound like a good solution.

      • Sue Lawson

        The largest amount on our property taxes goes to local schools. There must be away to have a separate tax that EVERYONE pays. I heard Voinovich had a plan and it was voted down. Why should people have to budget 200.00+ a month just for property taxes? I would be happy just get the schools off our property taxes. That would help.

        • oldruss

          If you’re paying $200.00 a month in property taxes ($2,400.00 a year), you’re living in a pretty damn nice house. As the old saying goes, if you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can’t afford it.

          AS for a tax that “EVERYONE” pays, that would be the sales tax; but it is very regressive, and I would not want to see such a tax used for school financing.

          • BITTERCLINGER36

            $2400 doesn’t equate to “living pretty damn nice” it simply means that you pay too much so that other can be subsidized. Boo hoo on sales tax being regressive…why is it ok to squeeze nickels out of the hard working but, god forbid those living on the dole actually giving a little back? That would basically be what a sales tax is, a welfare cut. If pay cuts are good enough for workers, pension cuts good enough for veterans, a welfare cut is good enough for freeloaders.

          • oldruss

            We can disagree about what constitutes a “pretty damn nice” house; but at the current rate of taxation, a tax bill of some $2400.00 per year means that the valuation of that house is well above the median.

            One of the problems with raising all the revenue that is raised by property taxes through the sales tax, as the earlier poster suggested, is that the sales tax would have to be significantly increased to bring in the revenue that is now collected through the property tax county-wide. That would penalize not only those who are unemployed, but also thousands of working poor too. That’s a major shift in our tax structure.

          • Mark B

            There are many working poor trying to pay for a house too

          • BITTERCLINGER36

            We can and always will disagree because I don’t presume to have a say in what anyone else thinks is a “pretty damn nice house”. Furthermore, because someone busts their hump to get a “pretty damn nice house” does not mean they can afford higher taxes, nor are they morally obliged to subsidize those who won’t do what is necessary to get a “pretty damn nice house.” That you or anyone would think that shows a bit of elitism or entitlement. The fact that you feel that only those who pay for their own housing should continually be squeezed rather than those who consume, yet don’t contribute, to me, is the larger problem. I don’t feel lucky for earning what I do, living where I do, or having what I have…..I did what was needed to be in a position to earn everything I have. Why should only homeowners be “penalized”? Those who are housed, fed, warmed, medically treated, given money, from the taxpayers will always vote to raise taxes, what do they care?

          • Sue Lawson

            They don’t look inside to see how much work your house needs when they evaluate it. I am talking about a house that was built in the 50s that needs a lot of work.

  • countrykat

    Midview hadn’t passed a levy in years. How many people got away with not paying for 10+ years. $366 a year is not changing anyone’s life who owns a home over 100k. Its time to not think of your own family alone but for the greater good of Lorain county. These kids no matter what district need a great education. They will be running the place while we are retired – so educate them well and keep jobs in the USA. I think those Midview teachers and staff protect and lead our children not just spit coursework at them.

    • Sue Lawson

      Taxes for local schools are taken out yearly. How is that not paying? I would love to see ALL taxpayers pay instead of just the property owners. Schools need to bombard the governor with letters, e-mails, phone calls. Oh and by the way, some teachers retire in their early 50s, so we pay for their huge pensions.

      • Mark B

        Sue , the schools are happy with this system , currently they can continue to come at us every time they want more money to waste and hand out raises, if the system is changed they might very well be stuck on a fixed system and not be able to come ask for more money every election day.

        • Sue Lawson

          I know Mark, they are relentless. How many times did JVS fail and they cram it down our throats until it passed. Also LCCC just barely passed. It isn’t cheap for them to put a levy on the ballot either. Eventually something has to give. Another thing that really upsets me is when a levy does pass and the schools put out signs that read, “Thanks Voters.” It should read, “Thanks Property Owners.”

          • Phil Seguin

            We need to introduce market forces into “public” education. We need a full voucher system for every family in Ohio. That is the only way to improve the quality of education and control the cost – the free market always delivers the best product to the most people.

    • Mark B

      So your saying that people should not worry about being able to feed their family and pay there bills and give the money to the school first and then use what is left over to support their family ?

      • flyboySR20

        That’s what your school district would have you do….!

      • countrykat

        I am saying that I was brought up in a great school system that my parents paid $$$ for and now, even though divorced with 2 kids I have the education to have a job that still affords a decent house somewhat above 100K. I budget for home, (insurance, taxes and bills), then car, then Cable/Internet. Then ball games and fun activities for my kids. I will not balk when I am 45+ yrs and older to pay for the communities children, (my children’s children) to get a good education.

        Have you stepped inside I school Mark B lately? Well I have and under volunteering time. So I know why the teachers get paid respectfully and get to retire after 30 years. They deal with much more stress that I do in my job.

        Maybe if more people put some volunteering back to the community in any fashion they can see a bigger picture like I do. If there were more people volunteering, the kids would too. Taxes are making up for what the community used to put forth 30+ years ago in my opinion.

        *Happy MLK Jr Day*

        • Pablo Jones

          Unfortunately paying the teachers more money doesn’t improve the education. So what we have is the school districts needing additional money every couple years to pay the teachers more, but the tax payers and students have nothing to show for it.

          I worked this out before, Elyria’s cost of compensation and benefits increases about $400,000 each year. And every 3 years they say they need another levy because in 3 more years they will be running deficits that mirror that $400,000 per year increase.

          I say cap the top level pay and pay the new employes more and you will get better results.

          • Tommy Peel

            Governor Kasich stripped a large amount of money from education to balance his budget, Most school districts in the state have to ask the taxpayer for more money.

          • Pablo Jones

            Yes that is the common excuse, but you don’t see any of these school districts saying how much was cut in actual dollars. The school district I live in said the state cut funding 20% so a new levy was needed.

            The problem was the funding cut was $400,000. The levy they wanted passed would raise $1.5 million a year and was progressive that at the end of the 7 year levy it would raise almost $3 million a year. All for a $400,000 cut. After the levy passed they found out that the state funding wasn’t going to be cut but would be raised by $200,000.

            Schools’ budgets keep growing, they keep asking for more money, but as I stated, the tax payers and students have nothing to show for it.

  • Stan K

    Property taxes go up and property value remains stagnant or on the decline. KEEP VOTING FOR LEVIES you degenerates.

    • onesears

      the bigger issue still goes back ti the Igio Supreme Court ruling that funding schools with property tax levies us unconstitutional. Therefore, illegal. All the communities un Ohio have been. breaking the law for years, ans there has never been any pressure or action against the state to change. People either need to keep voting no so the cirie put pressure ob when there is no money, or a private lawsuit goes forward to force change..

    • BITTERCLINGER36

      Well yea, there is no direct out of pocket income loss for someone living on section 8, SNAP, medicare, Medicaid, HEAP, EIC, and various other “free” stuff so why would they vote no on any levy?

  • formerlorainresident

    Why we are at it, please stop by the cafeteria at Learwood Junior High School in Avon Lake to admire the new flat screen televisions which were just installed. Very nice, and very expensive.

    And no, they are not there to serve any educational purpose, but strictly so the kids can watch television while enjoying their lunch.

    • formerlorainresident

      Sorry, “while”, not “why”.

  • Summer Smart

    Don’t expect me to vote for any more levy’s. Blame the school system for that. It is highway robbery.

    • Summer Smart

      when did having a $100,000 home indicate that we make enough money to pay all these taxes, especially with the middle class disappearing. The distribution of wealth leaves us with the upper class and the lower class, but the lower class still has to contend with middle class prices.