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The Suburbanite
  • New Phila voters to face 7.2-mill levy for schools

  • Money raised by the 7.2-mill, five-year levy would go into the general fund, helping to pay for such things as salaries, transportation, fuel and books, said Superintendent Bob Alsept.

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  • Officials with New Philadelphia City Schools hope voters will approve a $3 million emergency operating levy in November to forestall a projected $6.5 million deficit in 2018.
    The board of education passed a resolution Friday to place the issue on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.
    Money raised by the 7.2-mill, five-year levy would go into the general fund, helping to pay for such things as salaries, transportation, fuel and books, said Superintendent Bob Alsept.
    If approved, the levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $252 annually, according to Tuscarawas County Auditor Larry Lindberg.
    It would have cost that same property owner $220.50 annually had the Ohio General Assembly not voted this year to no longer subsidize property tax levies. For about 40 years, the state had been paying the first 10 percent on the property taxes for all landowners and an additional 2.5 percent for owner-occupied homes.
    The state will not subsidize new tax levies, but will continue to do so for       renewals.
    Alsept said this decision could influence some voters in New Philadelphia.
    “That’s something that’s out of local control,” he pointed out. “Decisions made at the state level sure affect us, but we have no control on the rollback.”
    But he noted that the board had voted to place a 9.6-mill emergency levy on the May ballot and then pulled it while it waited to see how much money the district would receive in the next state biennial budget.
    Had the 9.6-mill levy been approved in May, it would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home $336 a year, he said.
    “The board made a good decision to pull that off, and pass those savings on to residents,” Alsept said. “By waiting, we came back with an amount that’s truly indicative of what our needs are.”
    He said New Philadelphia received more funding in the latest state budget, but the district’s aid is still below 2010 levels.
    Over the past four years, New Philadelphia has also reduced $1.5 million in salaries, through attrition and hiring teachers at lower experience levels, Alsept said.
    Reach Jon at 330-364-8415 or jon.baker@timesreporter.com
    On Twitter: @jbakerTR