Northridge Local School District leaders say they're working to inform residents about the combined 0.75 percent earned-income tax and 2.9-mill bond on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Superintendent Scott Schmidt said the proposal is the same as the one voters rejected in May but said the current bond for the high school bond rolls off at the end of the year, and taxpayers will stop paying on it.
“The new bond would be equivalent to the current collection from the high school bond expiring in January of 2018,” he said.
The current bond issue expires at the end of this year. The new bond issue, if approved, would be effective in January, so no overlap would occur.
Both the income tax for permanent improvements and bond issue for a new prekindergarten and elementary school would be collected for 30 years.
The bond issue, as on the ballot, is 2.9 mills. At that rate, the cost would be $101.50 annually per $100,000 of home value.
Unlike levies, however, bond issues’ millage can fluctuate from year to year for several reasons. And unlike levies, bond issues are not subject to the reduction factor, which is outlined in a state law known as House Bill 920 and mandates that as property values increase, the millage amount on levies must decrease.
The bond issue would raise $14 million for construction of the new school building and provide updates to security and mechanical needs at the middle and high school, as well as maintenance needs across the district.
“We are working to make sure everyone is aware of the issue and understands all of the facts and information,” Schmidt said. “We’re hopeful we’ll have a higher voter turnout to get people to the polls.”
Board president Doug Hart said the district is in dire need of upgrades to mechanicals, plumbing, security and infrastructure at the primary, middle and high school.
“This isn’t about shiny and unnecessary toys,” he said. “It’s time for the trailers to go. This levy is purely about ensuring our students have an appropriate and safe environment to learn in, from kindergarten through their senior year.”
Schmidt emphasized that voters would not see an increase in property tax, but they would be subject to the earned-income tax.
“It doesn’t affect your retirement or Social Security or your pension or dividends from investments,” he said. “It’s based on currently earned income.”
Schmidt said anyone with questions may call him at 740-967-6631. He said he also would meet with residents and their friends and neighbors.