Having failed in three consecutive elections to renew a 1-percent school district income tax, the Northridge Board of Education voted July 18 to try a new approach.

Having failed in three consecutive elections to renew a 1-percent school district income tax, the Northridge Board of Education voted July 18 to try a new approach.

Voters will be asked a fourth time to re-establish the 1-percent income tax, but this time they will also receive a reduction of an existing property tax from 9.3 mills to about 5 mills.

Treasurer Jim Hudson estimated the reduction in property tax would save about $130 annually on a $100,000 home, and $260 annually on a $200,000 home. The increase in income tax would be 1 percent of income.

"My recommendation is to pursue a 1 percent income tax, and in conjunction with that pursue passing a resolution of intent that would reduce the emergency levy to a certain collection," Hudson said. "If we reduced it to 5 mills, that would be collections of about $1.2 million."

Board members discussed proposing an "earned income" income tax, which applies to fewer types of income, but rejected the possibility because the tax rate for the earned-income-only tax would be about 1.5 percent.

Hudson said he would rather have the income tax and the current property tax revenue, but voters have clearly said otherwise.

"Ideally, where this district needs to be funded would be the 1 percent and the 9.3 (mills property tax), but unfortunately that's not where the community wants to be, so we have to live within our means," Hudson said.

The proposal would give the district sufficient revenue to cover its costs through a five-year period, assuming voters would agree to renew the reduced property tax in 2014.

"To avoid cuts in the future, we would definitely need to renew the 5 mill (emergency levy) for $1.2 million," Hudson said.

The net effect of the trade-off is as if the district passed a smaller income tax, Hudson said.

"It's like getting a half a percent increase instead of a 1 percent increase," Hudson said. "That's roughly what it would shake out to be."

Overall, the exchange should benefit landowners, Hudson said.

"We get additional revenue but give a property tax break to everyone," Hudson said. "This would be big for the farmers, particularly the ones who own a lot of property."

In other business, the board accepted the resignation of board member Troy Willeke, who left the previous board meeting when the board laid off high school principal Jim Hall, redistributing principal duties among all buildings to three principals instead of four.

Persons interested in serving on the board are asked to submit letters of interest to board president Mark Dann, Northridge Local School District, 6097 Johnstown-Utica Road, Johnstown 43031, or by email to dkincaid@laca.org.

The board expects to act to name a new board member within a week, so applications must be submitted promptly.