The New Albany-Plain Local Board of Education is nearing a decision on a November ballot issue.

The New Albany-Plain Local Board of Education is nearing a decision on a November ballot issue.

As the school board weighs options to replace a 20.7-mill emergency property tax levy that expires next year, a continuing property tax has come up several times.

The 20.7-mill levy was passed in 2006 and expires in December 2009. It also accounts for about half of the district's revenue.

The finance committee gave three recommendations to the school board last month, and two included the 25-mill continuing property tax.

According to the school district, if a 25-mill property tax is put on the November ballot, it would cost voters $766 per $100,000 of assessed property value. School district officials said a 25-mill property tax would cost about 20 percent more than what they currently pay.

Currently, voters pay about $634 per $100,000 of assessed property value annually.

Although New Albany-Plain Local School District residents have seen emergency levies on the ballot, a continuing school property tax would be a new issue, if the school board settles on it.

Superintendent Steve Castle has said at multiple meetings that he would prefer to get away from having a significant portion of district revenue up for renewal before voters every three years. A continuing property-tax levy could help with that goal.

As the name implies, a continuing property tax is permanently on the books, but it is "subject to rollback based off of reappraisals," district treasurer Brian Ramsay said.

For New Albany residents, rollback potentially means a slight decrease in property taxes. Although the housing growth has slowed, when new residents in the community begin paying taxes, more people are paying the same amount of money to the district. This means taxes roll back for everyone.

If the school board decides upon a permanent property tax, it could be lower than 25 mills. Although the district has been working with an estimated 25 mills, it could be different after the auditor studies it.

Superintendent Steve Castle said the district will need $22.7-million annually. The district estimated it should take about 25 mills to generate that much, but it could change.

School board member Peter Horvath prefers a 20.7-mill levy. The district would have to go back to voters for more money sooner, but Horvath said this option would spend down an $11-million carryover and give the district more time to come up with alternative funding options.

The school board is expected to make a decision on ballot issues at the school board meeting slated for 7 p.m. July 28 at Mershad Hall in the McCoy arts center, 100 W. Dublin Granville Road.