A combined levy and bond issue on the March ballot would pay for three more Olentangy schools and generate funds to operate them.
Olentangy Local Schools, now the sixth-largest district in Ohio, is expected to balloon from about 22,000 students to more than 27,000 in the next 10 years. But its state funding is capped, meaning that revenue will not increase unless the state's funding formula is changed.
"Every levy in Olentangy is about two fundamental things: our continued enrollment growth and the lack of funding we receive through the state budget," said Superintendent Mark Raiff. "As we continue to gain more students, we have to ask local residents to continue to fund our operations."
Dec. 18 was the deadline to file issues with county election boards to be placed on the March 17 ballot. The deadline to register to vote is Feb. 17.
Raiff said the Olentangy tax issue has three parts: a 7.4-mill levy to fund operations; a 0.5-mill permanent-improvement levy, which is used only for the renovation and maintenance of buildings, plus equipment and supplies, such as buses; and a 30-year, $134.7 million bond issue for new buildings. Voters will cast one vote for or against all three parts.
For residents, approval of the issue would increase property taxes by about $277 annually for every $100,000 of home valuation. For the district, it would generate about $31 million each year for operations and $2.1 million for improvements starting in 2021.
The bonds would finance construction of two elementary schools and one middle school.
The bond component of the issue would not increase taxes, Raiff said.
Olentangy isn't the only Delaware County district with an issue on the ballot in March.
Big Walnut Local Schools will ask residents to vote on a 5.45-mill, continuing property-tax levy replacement, to generate about $5.3 million yearly for operations. It would continue to cost homeowners about $167 annually per $100,000 in property valuation.