With election day just around the corner, Trumbull County voters should be aware of Ohio's 2014-15 budget changes that will cause homeowners to dig even deeper than usual into their pockets to support school levies.
These changes are the elimination of the 10 percent rollback and the 2.5 percent rollback on all future new and newly voted replacement levies. Accordingly, homeowners will now pay the full rate of 100 percent instead of the 87.5 percent rate paid in the past. New levies will be more expensive, and renewal levies will come with an additional price tag -- 12.5 percent more than when originally passed.
An overview/analysis of Ohio's budget can be found on policymattersohio.org/budget-oct2013, the source of this information.
Also, check each levy's duration. It may be as long as 10 years, like Howland's 3.9-mill levy. While a 5-year term is still an option, a 10-year term is designed to meet the district's all-inclusive wants and wishes well into the future, not merely addressing a current concern.
Much can change in a decade. State figures show most school districts' enrollments are down over the last few years, a trend expected to continue over the next couple years. Also, Ohio will pass 5 additional budgets, each with the possibility of increased school funding.
If Howland's levy is passed, homeowners will face a total of 6.3 mills added to their tax bills (2.4 mills added when joining Trumbull Career and Technical Center) along with a 12.5 percent increase on a 4.9-mill renewal levy the district plans for the November ballot. If residents live within their means, why can't the school district do the same? Living within one's means sometimes includes ``doing without'' -- a concept the district does not want to grasp, but is more than willing to inflict upon residents by persistently placing failed levies back on the ballot.
Shame on the Howland School Board and administrators.
Warren, OH 44484