July 1, 2016

Partly cloudy

Brunswick Schools to seek fall levy

BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick school board plans to move forward with a two-year, 4.9-mill operating levy request on the November ballot.

Treasurer Patrick East said the district still is looking at a budget shortfall by the end of the 2013-14 school year, but the state’s two-year budget approved at the end of June provides more funding for Brunswick.

“We received an increase this year, so that’s why we’ve revised the budget request,” East said. “But we’re not sure what’s going to happen in the future.”

At the end of last year, East predicted a budget shortfall of about $5.1 million by the end of 2013-14. In the state budget, Brunswick Schools will be getting an additional $2.2 million annually, but East said even with the extra funds there still will be a shortfall.

Specific numbers on the estimated shortfall could be presented at the board’s meeting Monday night when it considers placing the levy on the ballot.

The funding uncertainty is why the district only is asking for a two-year levy. East said it gives the board the opportunity to review funding needs.

“Normally, a levy is at least five years, but at the end of two years, we can decide if we want to renew it or ask for more or less money,” he said.

“Will we have the same governor or the same Legislature, we just don’t know,” East said.

Gov. John Kasich, who signed the budget bill on June 30, and state representatives will be up for re-election in 2014.

The 4.9-mill levy would bring in just less than $5 million —$4,956,000 — to the district each of the two years it would be collected.

Medina County Auditor Mike Kovack said the proposed levy would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $171.50 annually.

Kovack said changes in the state budget bill passed in June altered the way levy costs are calculated. The legislation, he said, eliminated the
12.5 percent property tax rollback for new levies.

The rollback removal means a levy that would have cost a homeowner $150 annually per $100,000 of valuation if passed last month, now would cost $171.50, Kovack said.

“The local property owners will pay more and the state will pay less,” he said.

But East said that wasn’t a factor in deciding on the lower millage for the November ballot. He said the district is asking for less money because it needs less.
“It doesn’t change our levy needs,” he said. “We still collect the same amount of money.”

The board earlier this year considered a nine-year, 5.9-mill levy request but scrapped the idea in February to wait on the outcome of the state’s two-year budget.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the board of education office, 3643 Center Road.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.