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Answers to questions you've asked about the school levy

From: The Civic Action Committee of the Muirfield Association
More Info About the Dublin Schools' Levy

Many Muirfield residents have now received their mail ballots, and with that, Muirfield Civic Action Committee Members report fielding questions from neighbors and friends, mostly about the School levy. We thought we'd try to answer those questions in this e-mail, but feel free to email rfathman@gmail.com and ask more questions, and we'll try to get those answered, too.

Q 1. Why should we current residents have to pay more taxes to educate the kids of people newly moving here?
A. Ohio law does not let cities or school districts charge an "impact fee" for new housing. When each of us who have lived here for some time moved in, and children who came with us were simply enrolled and educated. It is just what we do.

Q 2. Why don't people in apartments have to pay property taxes for schools like homeowners do?
A. They do pay the same taxes. The taxes are just rolled into their rents by the landlords. All property -- homes, condos, apartments, stores, restaurants, office buildings -- pay the same millage rate depending on the value of that property. [See the note below about TIFs.] That is state law.

Q 3. Are the new apartments at Bridge Park flooding the overcrowded schools with new students?
A. Nope. Only 5 students new to the district have moved into the many units completed and occupied at Bridge Park. There are no pools, playgrounds or other kid amenities there, and most units are simple efficiencies or 1-bedrooms. Many of the occupants are empty nesters, singles or dinks [double-income, no kids].

Q 4. Did the TIF [Tax Increment Financing] which diverted tax revenue for Bridge Park into paying for infrastructure development hurt the schools?
A. No again. Before that development, the failed strip center, driving range and restaurant there were generating $149,000 per year in property tax revenue for he schools. Under terms of the TIF, the schools receive ten times that amount, $1.5 million per year, which the schools are using for technology upgrades including the funding laptops for students in many grades. And that not only enhances learning, but saves the district considerably in that many textbooks are now in digital format, considerably cheaper than print versions. The School Board had to approve that TIF, and did so unanimously, seeing it as a great benefit to students and the District's finances.TIFs are used in all 50 states and worldwide.

Q 5. Is there fat in the budget, like assistant athletic directors at the Middle schools?.
A. No. First, there never were Assistant ADs at the middle schools. And six years ago the District promised voters that a levy passed at that time would last 3 years. Instead it lasted 6, double the projection, thanks to careful fiscal management.

Q 6. With all the housing being built, the new property taxes from those subdivisions and homes must be supporting the influx of new students, right?
A. The opposite is the case. The typical new home costs the district $7,000 more than it produces in property tax.

Q 7. So I looked over my printed absentee ballot and the wording about the school levy is very confusing. Can you clarify?
A. We hope so, We agree, the wording is even confusing to math and English majors. It all comes down to this. The cost is $207 per $100,000 of value, the appraised value the County Auditors did two years ago. If your home is taxed as a $400,000 property, you will pay an additional $828 per year. Period.

A final note: be sure you write in "2018" after the words "General Election" on your absentee ballot, and that you have signed it and completed it exactly as told, so that your vote is not discarded.

Your neighbors in Muirfield who serve on the Civic Action Committee include: Charlotte Coomer, Andrew Graham, Eva Cioffari, Christy Kuret, Michele Fortson, Barry Halpern, John League, Tom Oleksa, Paula Linehan, Tanya Mathew, Bob Fathman, Debbie Gibson, Rob Carlisle and Michael Grodhaus.

Published October 12, 2018

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