UPDATE: Belpre superintendent says district could face cuts if emergency levy does not pass

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BELPRE, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 04/19/18 5:30 P.M.

Belpre City Schools’ superintendent says the district could face cuts if an emergency levy does not pass in the May primary.

Superintendent Tony Dunn says the district has been heading toward a fiscal cliff for 3 reasons: the elimination of the tangible personal property tax, unfunded mandates/loss of federal funding, and the state funding system considering it a wealthy district.

The district, which has a little more than 1,000 students from Pre-K to the 12th grade, says it used to receive more than $3,000,000 each year in tangible personal property taxes and this year it received half of the TPP revenues it used to rely on. Dunn says they receive less money from the state because Belpre is considered a “wealthy” district and as a result, the district’s funding is capped. He also says there are more regulations being forced onto the district without funding for it such as the move to online testing.

Therefore, the board passed two resolutions to put a 10 year, 8.226 mill emergency operating levy on the May ballot. It would generate $1.5 million each year for the next 10 years. The levy is based on property valuation only, not income.

For a person with a home valued at $100,000, he or she would pay $24 a month under the levy. If the home is valued at $75,000, it would cost a taxpayer $18 a month.

“This levy is about keeping the lights on keeping the heat on and keeping textbooks in our kids hands keeping technology up to date. It is the day-to-day operation like transportation, food service, those things without the money to do all of those things we can't have school,” Dunn said.

If passed, the new rates would go into effect in the second half of 2018 and the district would start to see revenue changes in 2019.

The primary is set for May 8.

ORIGINAL STORY: 02/02/18 5:39 P.M.

The Belpre City Schools Board of Education held a special meeting Friday to approve two emergency levy resolutions.

The board passed the two resolutions, putting an emergency levy on the upcoming May ballot. Superintendent Tony Dunn says it is the first time they are requesting a tax levy in 18 years, and only the second time in 42 years.

It is a 10 year $1.5 million operating levy, used for general funds. If passed, the levy would take effect in the second half of 2018. The levy would cost $287.91 in taxes a year, for every $100,000 home. However, Dunn says Belpre homes average $75,000 in value, which would be $215.93 annually in taxes.

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