The Upper Arlington City Schools district has considered an income tax to extend the three-year cycle of placing levies on the ballot, but has determined that option will not produce significant revenue.

The Upper Arlington City Schools district has considered an income tax to extend the three-year cycle of placing levies on the ballot, but has determined that option will not produce significant revenue.

Board of education members and central-office administrators discussed the issue at a work session Monday night.

Voters approved a 6.2-mill schools levy in November. According to Treasurer Andy Geistfeld's projections, another levy will have to be placed on the ballot in November of 2010 to avoid depleting the district's fund balance.

Implementing an income tax, as the Bexley City Schools district has done, will not generate sufficient income to delay another levy, board members and administrators say.

"It's so revenue-neutral," board member Bob Arkin said of a potential income tax. "It doesn't seem like a positive change for a district like this."

Because Upper Arlington has a small commercial tax base, an income tax would draw mostly from the same residents who would be affected by the next levy anyway, said board president Bill Catalano.

"You still have to get the same number of dollars out of the same community," Catalano said.

As part of the levy voters passed in November, 2 mills were set aside for permanent improvement projects. Rather than large-scale building projects, board members contend that the permanent improvement funds are intended for basic maintenance, repairs and upgrades to buildings, grounds and equipment. Planned expansions to Greensview and Barrington elementary schools to alleviate crowding are exceptions that are not likely to be repeated in the near future,

Board member Marjory Pizzuti noted that the district used the term "permanent improvement" in the levy because of state requirements.

"We need to qualify and clarify what's meant by permanent improvement," Pizzuti said. "It is not about strategic, long-term improvements to the district."

Board members and administrators discussed a proposal by consulting firm McDonald, Cassell & Bassett to conduct a building assessment to update the district's permanent improvement plan at a cost of $8,000.

The evaluation will include handicapped access, emergency lighting, technology, electrical and other systems.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal at its May 5 meeting.