BOWLING GREEN — Local voters resoundingly defeated a school levy that Bowling Green district officials said was needed to offset shrinking state education support, leading a mixed bag of results for school taxes across northwest Ohio at Tuesday’s special-election polls.
Preliminary results showed Bowling Green’s 6.5-mill continuing levy, forecast to raise about $3.9 million a year for general operating expenses, going down by a nearly 2 to 1 margin.
It was the second straight defeat for the Bowling Green schools, which in November proposed a 0.75-percent, five-year income tax to plug most of a $4.7 million deficit district officials have forecast to reach by the end of the 2014-15 school year.
But a leading critic had said voters needed to know more about how the money would be spent before they could support it.
Schools Superintendent Ann McVey said the funds are needed for basic expenses — “to turn the lights on, keep the buildings clean, and have teachers in the buildings.”
Mrs. McVey said she may request a special board meeting to plan the next step. The next regular meeting is slated for May 21.
“I believe that the results of the levy are more indicative of the economic times than people’s perception of the success of the district,” she said.
The Bowling Green proposal would have cost the owner of an appraised $150,000 home about $310 a year, the district said.
Voters in the Swanton, Clyde-Green Springs, Gibsonburg, Napoleon, and Elmwood school districts also turned down various levies or income taxes, while school issues got thumbs-ups from Oregon, Ada, Bluffton, Fostoria, Cory-Rawson, Carey, Bettsville, and North Baltimore voters.
More than 6 of 10 Swanton voters voted no on a 3.9-mill, 35-year bond levy for new-school construction, while a similar margin defeated the Clyde-Green Springs district’s 5.25-mill, five-year emergency-operating levy.
The Elmwood district rejected both the renewal of a 0.5 percent, continuing income tax and a new, 0.75 percent income tax for operating expenses. Napoleon voters nixed a half-percent, five-year income tax while their Gibsonburg counterparts turned down a 1 percent, 10-year income tax; both for operating expenses.
Big winners were Oregon’s renewal of a 2-mill, five-year operating levy, Carey’s combined 6-mill bond levy for school construction and 0.5-mill for maintenance expenses, and Bluffton’s 0.5-percent, three-year income tax for permanent improvements.
Limited-term income taxes for operating expenses in Ada, Cory-Rawson, and Bettsville all passed. Ada’s tax is 0.75 percent for seven years, Cory-Rawson’s is 0.75 percent for five years, and Bettsville’s is 1 percent for five years. Property levies in Fostoria and North Baltimore also got the voters’ blessing. In Fostoria, an 8.15-mill, continuing levy is substituted for an existing levy, while the North Baltimore issue was renewal of an 8-mill levy.
One mill equals $1 of tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value.
Contact David Patch at: email@example.com or 419-724-6094.