Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
Oberlin board of education president Ken Stanley and vice president Anne Schaum talk about the importance of voters renewing a two-mill permanent improvement and $940,000 emergency levy next March.
Two critical tax renewals needed to keep the Oberlin Schools in the black will likely go before voters in March 2016.
In a go-ahead vote Tuesday, the board of education directed treasurer Angela Dotson to seek certification of a $940,000 emergency levy and two-mill permanent improvement levy.
Lorain County auditor Craig Snodgrass will calculate what millage would be required to keep the $940,000 operating levy on the books, as well as the cash total the PI levy would generate.
School board president Ken Stanley said without the emergency levy, the Oberlin schools would soon be in the red.
The PI levy is needed to maintain Oberlin’s buildings. “We’re going to be in these buildings for at least another five years,” he said.
Vice president Anne Schaum spelled out the board’s long-term plan: If voters approve a bond levy to build new schools, then the next time the two-mill PI expires officials would not ask voters to renew it. Instead, they would keep the one-mill PI levy approved by voters last November.
If the levies are renewed residents will receive a 10 percent tax rollback from the state and a 2.5 percent rollback for owners occupying homes they own.
If school officials decided to replace the levies rather then renew them, residents would lose the rollbacks.
Schaum said it’s absolutely necessary for the district to retain the rollbacks for residents.
A second vote on the levies must be taken in order for the board of education to place the levies on the spring ballot.
“It’s absolutely essential we pass both of these,” said board member Barry Richard.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.