The Sylvania Board of Education took the final step necessary Monday night to place a 3.8-mill operating levy on the May 6 ballot, a tax officials said is needed to avoid a budget deficit starting in two years.
The five-member board voted unanimously to direct Laura Sauber, the district's chief financial officer, to file necessary documents with the Lucas County Board of Elections for the continuing levy, which if passed would add $133 to the annual property tax for the owner of a $100,000 home in the district.
The board had previously passed a resolution asking the Lucas County Auditor to certify the tax valuation and its annual revenue amount, $4.9 million.
The Sylvania schools now collect 44.98 mills of operating levies, all continuing. Its most recent new levies were 4.9 mills each, passed in 2004 and 2011. But without the new tax, district officials forecast a deficit starting at $1.4 million at the end of the 2015-16 school year. They attribute the shortfall to decreased state education funding, declining property values, and rising expenses for supplies related to new state curriculum standards and safety and security measures.
The board's next step will be organizing a levy committee, with members drawn both from the school district and the general community. Scott Nelson, the assistant superintendent of schools, is to serve as a liaison between the district and the committee and will be responsible for scheduling community forums at which board members will give presentations about the levy and school district finances.
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