District News

Board to seek levy approval in 2020

Posted on: December 4, 2019
photo of ballot

Faced with continued student enrollment growth and the expiration of a five-year emergency levy, the Little Miami Board of Education voted Nov. 26 to seek voter approval of a substitute levy on the March 2020 ballot.

The Board of Education voted 5-0 at its November regular meeting to place a substitute levy before voters on March 17. The measure would be a straight renewal of the expiring 2015 levy with three important differences:

  • A substitute levy is the only type of ballot issue that can replace an emergency levy and can be for 5 years, 10 years or continuous.
  • A substitute levy allows a school district to collect a small amount of increased property tax revenue from any new construction that occurs inside district boundaries during each tax year.
  • Since this is not considered a new levy, qualifying property owners will not lose the 12.5% in rollback and homestead credits they currently receive.

The levy will collect $10.6 million annually, which is the originally-voted amount from 2011, and the amount that was renewed by voters in 2015. That $10.6 million represents about a fifth of the district’s annual budget and is crucial to district operations, Treasurer Terry Gonda said.

“With our growing enrollment numbers bringing increased expenditures and flat funding projections from the state, the district is relying on these dollars to operate,” he said. “The good news is that this levy means no new taxes for our residents.”

Superintendent Greg Power said it was important that voters understood that this levy would help maintain programs currently in place.

“This ballot issue will allow us to continue to deliver education at current levels,” he said.

According to the Warren County Auditor, the millage amount for the substitute levy will be 9.92, which is a full four mills less than the originally approved 13.95-mill issue in 2011.