I am pleased to see that the Worthington school board is considering an incremental levy for the next cycle.

To the editor:

I am pleased to see that the Worthington school board is considering an incremental levy for the next cycle.

I hope that the Ohio legislature gives the board sufficient time for a favorable decision by quickly passing legislation to make it possible to combine incremental levies with bond issues, as may be done with traditional levies. Ever since they were made legally possible in 1990, I have supported (unsuccessfully until three years ago) the concept of incremental levies as more "taxpayer- friendly."

Unfortunately, the unconstitutional system of funding schools is still with us. This system over-relies on property taxes and thus requires recurrent (usually three-year) levies. Incremental levies are more "pay as you go" than the usual levies, which are "front-loaded." Incremental levies leave the excess funds generated during the first year, normally not expended until the third year, in the hands of taxpayers rather than on the books of the district.

As an example, a 6.9-mill levy to last three years would yield a cumulative total of 20.7 mills. An incremental levy starting at 3.9 mills with 3-mill increments in each of the next two years would yield the same 20.7 mills, with 3 mills ($300 per $100,000 of assessed value) remaining with the taxpayer until the final year.

Among the factors to consider in structuring an incremental levy are the cash flow needs of the district and the final year's rate (9.5 mills in the example), which would be the rate carried into the fourth year. Depending on the circumstances at the time, this final rate could delay the need for or reduce the rate of the inevitable new levy.

Abramo Ottolenghi
Worthington