MOUNT VERNON — On Nov. 5, voters in the Mount Vernon City School District will be asked to pass an emergency operating levy that renews and combines two existing levies.
The levy will generate $6.748 million. Superintendent William Seder emphasized that the 10-year, 10.3-mill levy will not add any additional taxes to property owners.
“The Mount Vernon City School District has taken great strides to improve the district's fiscal stability while increasing educational options and advancing our preparedness in the areas of safety, technology, and improved facilities,” he said. “The passage of this renewal 'zero additional taxes' will keep Mount Vernon City Schools' funding at current levels.”
In 2013, the district had four emergency operating levies and one permanent improvement levy dating back to the 1980s. The emergency operating levies were renewed every five years. Recently, the Ohio State Legislature passed a law allowing the five-year renewable levies to be extended to 10 years.
“In 2015, we combined two of the emergency operating levies into one. In 2017, we combined the remaining two emergency levies into one,” explained Seder. “On Nov. 5, we are asking voters to combine these two existing levies into one levy for a period of 10 years.
“We are renewing these levies,” he continued. “The cost to homeowners will not increase during the term of this emergency operating levy even if property values increase.”
Seder said the district is combining the two levies because levy campaigns are quite expensive, time consuming, and expensive for the district.
“Reducing the frequency of these efforts provides greater efficiency for the district and for voters,” he said. “Voters often comment that they experience ballot fatigue voting nearly every year on school ballot issues.”
The school district will use the money for day-to-day expenses such as utilities, fuel for buses, staff salaries, and classroom supplies.
“Mount Vernon City Schools needs this continued funding to maintain the district's fiscal stability and educational drive for excellence,” said Seder. “This combined levy makes up 16% of the district's total revenues.”
In addition to the levy, school district voters will elect three school board members. Five candidates are vying for the three seats: Margy Bennett, Jody Goetzman, Daniel Hamman, Jeffrey Ward, and Tim Workman.