Schools funding is a complex topic.
Many factors determine how much revenue a school district receives to operate its schools.
In Worthington Schools, the most important component of funding is the revenue provided through local property taxes from levies approved by our voters. In fact, more than two-thirds of our funding comes from local taxes.
All district residents pay Worthington Schools property taxes.
When important events happen, such as the Franklin County Auditor Office's 2017 reappraisal, we get a lot of questions from residents. The most recent report from the auditor's office indicates local owners should expect an increase in value of approximately 12.5 percent on residential property.
The first question many residents might have is: "Will my property taxes go up 12.5 percent?"
The answer is no.
Although each property owner will be affected differently, the average tax-bill increase will be about 1.96 percent for our residents.
Those whose valuation has gone up more than the average will see a larger increase in taxes, and those whose valuation increase is less than the average will see a smaller increase and, in some cases, a decrease in their tax bills.
The next question often is: "When property values go up, do our schools receive increases in local revenue?"
Although the average increase in property value was 12.5 percent, the increase in revenue for Worthington Schools is expected to be less than 1 percent of the district's operating revenue.
This is a result of a state law known as House Bill 920, which was approved in the 1970s and limits inflationary growth on taxes.
Although HB 920 protects homeowners from large increases in voted taxes as a result of an increase in value, it also prohibits school districts from collecting additional revenue. So unless new tax issues are approved by voters, local revenue for schools remains relatively stagnant.
One exception to HB 920 is something called "inside millage," which is 4.5 mills for Worthington Schools. This is the only portion of the tax rate permitted to increase or decrease with valuation. (Editor's note: Inside millage refers to the property taxes for which the Ohio Constitution authorizes collection without a vote. It is limited by law to a maximum of 10 mills.)
Transparent conversations with the community about district finances is important.
We hope that the information we provide gives our taxpayers a deeper understanding about how changes like property reappraisal affect our revenue and operations.
If you have any questions about your property reappraisal, please feel free to contact me.
Jeff McCuen is the treasurer for Worthington Schools. He may be contacted by email at email@example.com.