The Swanton Board of Education Wednesday took the first official step to place a substitute levy on the November ballot. It would replace a current $825,000 emergency levy.
That current levy raises a fixed dollar amount. A substitute levy does not change the amount current property owners pay, but allows the district to collect additional revenue.
”The proposed Substitute Levy is also a fixed dollar levy that will generate additional tax revenue for the school district on any new homes, new commercial buildings, or additions to existing properties added to the tax duplicate,” said Joyce Kinsman, Swanton Local Schools treasurer. “In general terms, the existing group of taxpayers won’t see an increase in the taxes paid for this levy unless there is a large decrease in the overall valuation of the school district.”
That tax increase would also be possible with the $825,000 emergency levy as it is designed to bring in $825,000 each year and the amount each property owner pays can fluctuate based on property values in the district.
Millage for the current emergency levy is 3.73. It has decreased from the original amount of 6.96-mills due to property valuation increases in the district.
The first year of the substitute levy generates the same dollar amount as the emergency levy. The second year of the substitute levy will have incremental increases based on the new homes, new commercial buildings or additions to existing properties added to the school district.
“The Substitute Levy acts like a renewal of the emergency levy and grandfathers in the Rollback and Homestead discounts applied to qualifying properties in the school district,” said Kinsman.
Wauseon and Pike-Delta-York are among the area districts that have approved substitute levies in recent years.
One goal with a substitute levy is to avoid asking for new money from current residents.
“With Swanton Local School District now at the 20-mill floor, plus by renewing the emergency levy as a substitute levy, these small increases in tax revenue may keep the school district from asking the voters for a new tax levy down the road.”
Kinsman added that once the second substitute levy resolution is approved by the board of education, there will be more information sent out to the district residents. The next board meeting is July 21.
Also at the meeting, a board commendation was presented to Riah McAllister. She was crowned the most recent Amazing Shake champion at Swanton Middle School.
Several donations were also approved, including $3,800 from Swanton Parents Club to Swanton Elementary School principal’s fund, $3,225 from Swanton Parents Club to Swanton Middle School principal’s fund, $2,500 from Worthington Industries to Swanton Seven programming fund, and $1,500 from McNeill Chevrolet Buick to Swanton Seven programming fund.
Middle school principal Matt Smith reported that Obduro won the 2021 house cup at the school.
He also said that the shell of the 2021-22 school year schedule is complete with some changes always necessary as the school year nears.
Kristi Molter, elementary principal, reported that 76 students are currently registered to start kindergarten in August.
She also added that Safety Village will be held Aug. 9-13 at the school.
High school principal Jason Longbrake said the graduation ceremony went great and thanked custodial staff, the tech department, Pam Raab, and students who helped set up the gym for this year’s event.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010