The 1.49-mill school security tax issue went down by a 3-1 margin
CANTON Voters in the region Tuesday soundly rejected a school-security property tax request, presented as a "Safer Schools, Safer Students" measure.
The unofficial vote count from the Stark County Board of Elections had Issue 1 losing by more than a 3-1 margin, 22,993 to 7,024. That's a margin of roughly 76 percent to 24 percent.
The Stark County Educational Service Center Board's 1.49-mill additional property tax was to run for a continuous period and would have raised $9.51 million per year for participating districts to beef up security and mental health initiatives.
Many voters at the polls expressed concern that the proposed levy was permanent. Others didn't want to see tax dollars from their home district going to other school systems.
Revenue from the issue would have funded additional security and resources officers for schools and pay for additional mental health resources and staff, and increased digital citizenship education for all students.
Concern has been brewing over deadly or dangerous violence in schools along with the disturbing high level of suicides among local youths.
The tax issue was on the ballot in 16 regional public school districts. They were: Alliance City, Louisville City, Massillon City, North Canton City, Fairless Local, Jackson Local, Lake Local, Marlington Local, Minerva Local, Northwest Local, Osnaburg Local, Plain Local, Sandy Valley Local, Tuslaw Local, Brown Local and Strasburg-Franklin school districts.
Some area school districts opted out and did not have the issue on the special election ballot. They were Canton City, Canton Local, Perry Local, Carrollton Exempted Village, Dalton Local and Green Local school districts. (Green voters, meanwhile, approved their own 1-mill levy, five-year levy.
The taxing district is referred to as the Stark County School Financing District for School and Safety and Security and Mental Health even though some of the school districts, such as Brown Local, are in other neighboring counties.
The levy would have cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 an additional $52.15 a year in property tax payments.
Efforts Tuesday night to contact Superintendent Joseph Chaddock of the Stark County Educational Service Center were not successful.
Along with Stark County, voters from seven other counties also participated in the voting on Issue 1. Those other counties were Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne.
Reach Malcolm at 330-580-8305
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