The Hilliard school board unanimously approved putting a 6.9-mill levy on the May 3 ballot.

The Hilliard school board unanimously approved putting a 6.9-mill levy on the May 3 ballot.

"I'm sure there are some people out there who if we had a 2.9 or a 3.1 (mill levy), they would still be upset with us," school board president Doug Maggied said prior to the 5-0 vote Jan. 24 at J.W. Reason Elementary. "We will work to sell our message and get people to understand where we are, what's happening and why we need a levy."

"Our effective operating millage is 40.73 mills," district treasurer Brian Wilson said after the meeting. "The 6.9 mills would go on top of this to be 47.63 mills collected on a permanent basis." If approved by voters in May, the levy would cost a homeowner an additional $211.31 per year in property taxes per $100,000 of value.

According to the language of the board's resolution, the Franklin County Auditor certified the total current tax valuation of the school district is $2.4-billion and the dollar amount of revenue that would be generated by the 6.9-mill levy would be $16.7-million annually during the life of the levy, assuming that the total current tax valuation remains the same throughout the life of the levy. However, Wilson said that the revenue would be $15.5-million because of anticipated 8-percent property value decreases.

After the 35-minute meeting Jan. 24, Wilson said he would turn in the paperwork to the Franklin County Board of Elections the next day. The filing deadline is Feb. 2.

On Jan. 10, the board adopted a resolution declaring it necessary to levy an additional 6.9-mill property tax. That vote was 4-1, with board member Paul Lambert casting the lone no vote. Lambert also requested a special board meeting, which was held Jan. 21 at the district administration building on Cemetery Road.

At that one-hour meeting, Lambert showed charts that outlined 13 different scenarios for the district, including levies of 5.3 and 17.3 mills. "All I am asking is that we have a discussion which examines these other parameters in conjunction with our consideration of the size and form of the levy we'll put on the ballot in May," Lambert wrote in the introduction of the charts. "Otherwise it's like driving down the road at 100 mph texting on the cell phone, instead of paying attention to what's on the road ahead of us."

Also at the special meeting, the board discussed cost-saving measures like offering buyouts for longer-tenured staff.