Kent Schools Put Levy on May 2013 Ballot

District asking voters to approve 8.9-mill operating levy

Kent voters will be asked in May to vote on a 8.9-mill operating levy for the Kent City Schools.

The Kent City Schools Board of Education voted this week to put the levy on the May 2013 ballot.

The levy would pay for general operations of the school district and would raise $4.25 million per year. It would cost the owner of a house valued at $100,000 for tax purposes $272.56 per year.

"That breaks down to $0.75 per day," Kent City Schools Treasurer Debbie Krutz said.

School administrators told the education board during Tuesday's meeting that the district has saved $4.2 million annually the past few years thanks to belt-tightening efforts. The district's voters last approved an operating levy in 2006.

"Because of our cost-savings initiatives and the wage freezes approved by teachers, administrators and staff members, we were able to stretch our last operating monies for seven years — well past the anticipated four years,” Kent City Schools Superintendent Joseph Giancola said.

Giancola and Krutz told the board that cuts in state support to local schools make the levy a necessity.

This year marks the first year ever that the district earned the highest possible rating from the Ohio Department of Education on the latest state report cards measuring school success.

Data published in October by the ODE shows Kent schools earned an "Excellent with Distinction" rating — the highest of six possible ratings issued by the state.

Giancola said if voters approve the May 2013 levy, the district will maintain its commitment to classroom instruction and extracurricular activities as well as providing bus transportation to all who qualify.

In addition, the district will upgrade its safety and security measures and resources.

“Kent Schools provide an excellent education for the young people of our community,” Giancola said. “Our recent ‘Excellent with Distinction’ rating from the Ohio Department of Education makes this very clear. Unfortunately, in order to continue to educate our students in the way our community expects, school districts in Ohio have no other viable alternative than asking local taxpayers for operating funds.”

Chris (Kit) Myers December 21, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Well, ain't it just like confederate man to not be able to understand that renters DO indeed pay property taxes.
Rick December 21, 2012 at 01:52 AM
All Kent admin and teachers are way over paid and under worked.At best a teacher works only 1200 hrs of a 2080 work year.So when you apply that to what they get paid per year shows how much they are over paid.
Andrew Polcyn December 21, 2012 at 02:06 AM
You think that teachers only work during school hours? You couldn't be more wrong.
Chris (Kit) Myers December 21, 2012 at 02:52 AM
*** razzle-dazzle*** Only 75 cents per day! Check the new County reappraisal amount for your property.
i love doughnuts December 21, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Confederate American December 21, 2012 at 08:44 AM
I had no idea renters had to pay property taxes. Thought if you rented a house you just paid rent
Confederate American December 21, 2012 at 08:45 AM
how do they pay property taxes?
Chris (Kit) Myers December 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Well, Mr. Confederate Man, when I pay my rent my landlady pays a portion of it to the County when she gets the tax bill. In other words, the tax is built into the amount of the rent I pay. I just don't pay it directly. It's like my paying a buck seven at the store for a dollar item. I don't pay a dollar to the store and send seven cents to the State of Ohio. The only difference is that I get a receipt at the store telling me how much the sales tax is. I don't get a receipt every month from my landlady stating how much of it went for real estate tax.
Teresa K. December 21, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Mr. Confederate: Rental properties take into consideration all costs of owning the property rolled into the price of the rent: property taxes, insurance, trash, snow removal, lawn care, legal fees... Thats why rent is so high everywhere. Chris: Mr Con.... is right though. Renters dont really pay property tax and have no real vested interest in the property. They have no say in what happens with the property. They dont get a bill monthly or twice a year for taxes. While they toss in some money in the rent most feel its just profit and dont consider monies needed for upkeep of the property.
Teresa K. December 21, 2012 at 02:03 PM
chris: come on... its only 75 cents per day..... dont we all spend 10 times that amount on Starbucks each day? ; ) Just joking... Some of us collect that 75 cents, roll it into $10 and buy gas. My limited intelligence is insulted when new taxes get broken down into seemingly little amounts as with the 75 cents a day. I'm running out of counter space for all my jars that just want me to dump in *change per day* for new taxes.
Chris (Kit) Myers December 22, 2012 at 01:37 AM
If this passes my total real estate taxes will jump $1215.00 per year. Same piece of property as it was last year. 224 South Willow St.
Focusonkids March 30, 2013 at 05:43 PM
I'm assuming you mean your taxes will jump to that amount. NO ONES taxes will jump that much...unless you own a lot if expensive real estate. Kent city schools has not asked for more money in 7 or 8 years...it's probably time...to al least honestly consider it.
Chris (Kit) Myers March 30, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Focusonkids, please pardon my mathematical error. Let me suffice it to say that I now pay $3,319.76 per year to the Kent City Schools in property taxes from my off-campus home for Kent State students.. Should the levy pass, that would add another $460.62, bringing my support to the schools to $3,780.38 annually. I am not complaining. I am just stating facts. I just think that with the City wanting money for a new police station and rumblings coming from the County about a new jail, something has got to give. I am OK but there are lot of people in Kent who are not. No, I do not want to move to Hartville. Bugger off, Clarissa, whoever you are.
Ted M April 07, 2013 at 12:53 AM
The education levy is coming in Kent this May. I do love our schools but here are some quick facts: median household income for Kent is $26,963 "2011 US Census", (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/39/3939872.html) with below poverty rate is 35.3% Even I was a bit skeptical but this is from the US Census report Teachers average salary Kent City Schools is $62,974, 2010-2011,(http://stateimpact.npr.org/ohio/2011/08/01/education-secretary-teacher-salaries-could-start-at-60000/). The teachers received an average raise of $3500 per tear from 08/09 to 09/10. You also have a number of elementary teachers making 70 to 80K a year, I mean 9 months. see for yourself http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/teacher-salary. These facts kinda make me sick to my stomach. We all know that this levy will pass but it will be passed without most of the people knowing that the reason we have to vote on this levy is because of all the tax abatement given to the new downtown . The superintendent even says so. I am kinda thinking that this new downtown isn't "free" I wonder how this levy would pass if it was a fair tax, meaning, that this tax would affect everyone including people who lived on a fix income, section 8 and so on. I have a feeling that this only affects the "working class" Dont get me started on the upcoming police levy
Lucy Merriman April 07, 2013 at 04:14 PM
As an alumni from Kent City Schools, I can say that I support the schools and administrators 100%! The bottom line is, I got a quality education from teachers I really love that prepared me to go to college with honors, and get a competitive job. Now I'm working at a job that helps people in the "real world" on a day-to-day basis, and I'm paying my own taxes, which makes the economy better for everyone. The kids who get a poor quality education can't compete, and those are the kids that turn into adults on unemployment. I'd much rather pay the little extra in taxes now to support programs that keep our kids in school and earn that "Excellent Distinction," than pay too much, economy-wise, for poorly-educated adults who aren't getting good jobs because of it.
Ted M April 07, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Its not about weather or not the school system does a good job because we all know they do. Its more of weather I can afford any more taxes. Its really about mismanaging funds and making the citizens pay for it. just as a average consumer would think. Would me paying more, what would I get more of? More service, extra activities?
Teresa K. April 07, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Ted: thanks for the above posts and the links. I have never seen those before. Kent city schools are a good PUBLIC education. It's really just a bad time to be asking for funds from the taxpayers. For those of us that pay taxes every half year, the new levy would mean $135 each half on a $100K house. That's quite an increase. Looks a little different than 75 cents a day. We will get nothing MORE for the money, but we will keep the current standard of education if I understand what the increase is for. re: "This year marks the first year ever that the district earned the highest possible rating from the Ohio Department of Education on the latest state report cards measuring school success." great job with no added funds.
Lucy Merriman April 07, 2013 at 06:21 PM
If they were mismanaging funds, though, that would result in poor quality. The way they're using the funds now is, by all evidence, really effective in giving students the education they need. They are trying to maintain the quality they have; without the levy, they'll have to make cuts, and the quality of education will go down.
Lucy Merriman April 07, 2013 at 06:36 PM
$135 twice a year is $270. Divided by 365 days, that's 73.9 cents a day. So, technically, yes, that's not 75 cents a day; that $3.75 less than 75 cents a day. There are a lot of reasons costs rise to maintain the same quality. Prices of materials, increased enrollment, inflation, and, of course, trying to attract and keep top-quality teachers. It's a good strategy and it's worked well so far :)
Chris (Kit) Myers April 07, 2013 at 10:55 PM
75 cents a day at $100,000. I'm $169,000. I'm very sorry but I won't say yes this time.
Ted M April 07, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Lucy, if the median household income in Kent is but $29k1 a year, how do you expect people to come up with that kind of extra money? Our teachers do a very good job, that's not even any question here, its about taxing me knowing that the city gave 10rich tax abutments to the new down town. I work hard too. I would like to keep my money in my pocket. It imitates me to see "vote yes" signs in peoples yards who don't have to pay for the levy. Freedom of opinion is still right but it still crawls under my skin. Its no different then letting anyone vote who doesn't even live in the city. I don't think I could even vote yes on something that I wouldn't have to pay for it. If thisguy passes, I lose "my money" and if it fails, quality of education fails. Why wouldn't the teachers union kick in some money
Ted M April 08, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Actually its more than the 75 cents a day. Last I knew the school was only 9the months long. So that 75 cents paid in the summer is for........?
Traci Monroe April 08, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Check out what's going on here in Medina before you vote. 2.8mil over the last 5 years taken from the students and put in the supers pocket. Find out what perks Giancola's contract has in it. Don't forget all the properties Kent State bought up for the esplanade and all the taxes lost from that.
Ted M April 08, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Bingo Traci Monroe
Chris (Kit) Myers April 08, 2013 at 03:27 AM
The tenants who rent my property on South Willow pay a total of $3319.00 per year for the Kent Schools. They pay it in their rent. I am just the person who writes the check to the County. If people who rent would understand that they do indeed foot the property tax bill, they would perhaps take more of an interest in government issues. Now who do you suppose got a rent increase, small but nevertheless there, when the property appraisal went from $130,000 to $169,000? And who do you suppose will get another if the school levy passes? Make no mistake about it; if you are a renter, you DO pay the property taxes, and when they go up your rent is almost sure to eventually follow. I think that the people who want your money want you kept ignorant of this fact so that you will unquestioningly vote in favor of anything that comes along. Conspiracy! Conspiracy! The city gave tax abatements to two old-line Kent companies to "encourage" them to build in town. Kinda reminds me of a storekeeper having to give money to the Mafia to keep his/her store from being blown up. You know; an "or else" thing. Kit speaks heresy, huh?. I would start by closing DePeyster School where the Board of Education offices are located, and selling the property. The Board can rent a storefront or even a house for its offices. The Univrsity is using a house on South Willow Street for offices and it seems to be working just fine. There! An money saving idea to go along with my heresy.
Ted M April 09, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Right on Kit!!!! Just think, we will vote for another levy in 6 months, for a new police station........ I would hate to see what you would have to pay
Chris (Kit) Myers April 10, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Yep, and the County soon to follow looking for our money for a new jail I hear tell they are already giving tours to show people how bad it is. I would hate to see what EVERYBODY would have to pay. I can weather the storm. There are a whole lot of people for whom seventy-five cents a day for this and then seventy-five cents a day for that and then seventy-five more cents a day for something not yet thought up in the fertile brains of our leaders, makes all the difference in his/her daily struggle to keep up with the price of groceries and water and gas and electricity and insurance and rent and whatever. The schools want money. The police want money. The County wants money. Hey guys; there ain't enough there. Ya better sit down and start talking about how to divvy up the pot that currently exists and figure out how you can all "git by." Everybody thinks their little empire is the most important. Get over it! Share the pot!If you are unwilling to do that, step aside for someone else. A bunch of tin gods. Cheesh.... I wish Paul Yacavona were still around.
Jon Ridinger April 10, 2013 at 01:21 AM
The police levy, if they repeat the previous try, won't be a property tax increase, it will be an income tax increase. If it passes, everyone who works in Kent and/or lives in Kent would see their taxes go up and those of us who live, but don't work, in Kent would pay the difference between where we work and Kent's new rate (so if I work in a city with a 2.0% tax rate and Kent's goes up to 2.25%, then I'd pay Kent 0.25% of my income). The city actually gets very little property tax compared to the schools. The vast majority (73%) goes to the schools with the city getting 14% and the county getting 13%. For commercial property taxes, the schools get even more (77%). The city's main source of revenue is income tax.
Kathy April 12, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Why does more money equate to a better education for our children? Does that mean our teachers and administrators aren't doing the best job now and why not!!
Stressed April 20, 2013 at 03:38 PM
The City of Kent has had a business building boom which should have been a boom for Kent City Schools, but no, Kent gave a number of those business a large and lengthy tax abetment which should not have been so generous. That caused us property owners to have to make up the tax money needed for the schools. I say WHY should property owners have to bear the full brunt of supporting the schools. Education is the responsibly of everyone. What has been done by the legislators to find a better way to fund the schools? I will vote NO just to sent a message to the State and City legislators that they need to get off their Butts and figure a better way to fund schools in ohio. Thank You, Stressed


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