Johnstown Independent


Renewal levy expected to cover daily operations


Northridge Local Schools Superintendent Chris Briggs said a renewal operating levy on the May 6 ballot is critical to maintain the positive momentum within the district.

The district has proposed a five-year, 8.8 mill levy for emergency requirements.

Money generated from the levy would amount to $2.1 million out of a $12 million annual budget, Briggs said.

"The levy represents 17.5 percent of our total annual budget," he said. "It is a zero-percent renewal levy and will not cost our residents any additional taxes. It is for the day-to-day operations of our district."

Briggs emphasized the levy is not a new tax, and it would keep Northridge Local Schools on a path to excellence and progress.

"Without it, the quality of education for our students may be negatively impacted," he said.

Funding from the renewal levy would be used to pay for teachers in the classrooms, technology, textbooks and utilities.

Northridge is committed to cost control and has made $4 million in reductions over the past two years to maintain the leanest budget possible while maintaining programs and services that help students become college and career ready, Briggs said.

In June 2013, Northridge was removed from fiscal caution by the Ohio Department of Education as a result of the district working hard to live within its means, Briggs said.

"Northridge Schools have scrutinized its budget, made sacrifices and reallocated resources when possible," he added. "Our schools are implementing cost-effective operations while still providing a high-quality education.

"We have trimmed and cut where possible and win awards for our excellence in financial operations. It is clear that every day we are doing things and have been all along to be good stewards of the taxpayer dollar."

Briggs said he knows many residents are struggling financially, and that's why the school board made the levy request as lean as possible -- a renewal levy that wouldn't increase taxes but would provide students with the ongoing resources they need to succeed.

The renewal levy is for an effective rate of 8.8 mills. If approved, it will continue to cost homeowners $269.50 annually per $100,000 of assessed property value, according to the Licking County Auditor's Office.