Toledo Public Schools' levy campaign racked up a string of endorsements this week, with three large nonprofit organizations and the business community lending their support.
The United Way of Greater Toledo, the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Toledo jointly announced today their endorsement of a 4.9-mill new money levy on the November ballot for TPS. The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce's Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to endorse the levy.
The trio of nonprofits are partners with the school district in an array of programs, and lauded recent changes in TPS that have increased transparency, the district's efforts to reduce its budget, and a transformation plan begun last year.
"We've seen Toledo Public Schools make excellent progress in the past few years," said Larry Friedman, a members of United Way's board of trustees.
TPS originally planned to ask for a 6.9-mill levy, but reduced its request by a third after better than expected budget results. The Toledo Board of Education also changed its request from a permanent levy to one that would expire in 10 years. The 4.9-mill levy would generate $13.3 million annually and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $150.06 annually.
The chamber of commerce also voted Wednesday to endorse three Lucas County levys, for the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, Lucas County Children Services, and the Imagination Station.
The mental health levy would be a new 1-mill, 10-year levy th at would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $30.63 annually. It would generate about $7 million annually for the agency.
The children services levy is a renewal of its 1-mill levy plus a new, 0.85-mill tax. The levies' total cost for the owner of a $100,000 home would be $56.66, or an increase of $26.03 annually. The new portion of the levy wouldn't be collected until 2014. It would generate about $12.9 million annually.
They levy for Imagination Station is also a renewal, for a 0.17 mill, five-year levy. It costs the owner of a $100,000 property $5.21 yearly. This would generate about $1.5 million annually for the science center.
Not endorsed by the chamber were levy requests for the Metroparks of the Toledo Area, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, and Toledo's parks and recreation facilities.
The chamber's Toledo Area Small Business Association voted to endorse the TPS, mental health, and child services levy requests.