OFCS March 2020 Operating Levy: FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions 
Olmsted Falls City Schools
Operating Levy on the Ballot Tuesday, March 17, 2020 

 

Q:  What is on the March 17 ballot for Olmsted Falls City Schools?

A:  An 8.9 mill operating levy.  If the March levy is successful, the Board of Education has committed to reducing the effective tax rate of the 8.9 mill levy to 7.9 mills by tapping into the District’s debt fund and paying off the middle school expansion project from 2007 earlier than required.

 

Q:  How was the millage amount determined?

A:  The 8.9 millage amount is the lowest possible amount that will help maintain current operations. It comes amid district-wide reductions that keep the millage amount as low as possible for voters while still maintaining a similar level of programs and services.

 

Q:  How much would this levy cost me?

A:  The levy will cost residents $23.04 per month per $100,000 home value. This cost reflects the reduction of the effective tax rate to 7.9 mills.  The collection would begin in 2021.  

Estimated Cost Chart OFCS Operating Levy March 2020 Ballot

 

Home Value

Taxable Value 

(35% of Home Value)

Estimated Cost* 

Per Month

$50,000

$17,500

$11.52

$100,000

$35,000

$23.04

$150,000

$52,500

$34.56

$200,000

$70,000

$46.08

$250,000

$87,500

$57.60

$300,000

$105,000

$69.13


*The estimated cost in this column reflects the reduction of the effective tax rate to 7.9 mills.  The Board of Education has committed to reducing the effective tax rate of the 8.9 mill levy to 7.9 mills by tapping into the District’s debt fund and paying off the middle school expansion project from 2007 earlier than required.

 

Q:  Why now?

A:  It has been 10 years since we last passed an operating levy.  The district’s five-year forecast shows the need for either continued cuts and reductions or the passage of an operating levy.  To maintain our Triple A experience, current programs, staff and opportunities, additional funding is needed and we cannot delay placing a request before voters any longer. 

We have now stretched this levy cycle for as long as possible and find ourselves at a critical financial crossroad. 

 

Q:  How has the district trimmed costs?

A:  The district is serious about reducing expenses by proactively making cuts and reductions right now, which will reduce the impact to voters in the March levy. The plan includes more than $3 million in reductions, including not filling retired positions, reductions in professional development, slashing all building and department budgets by 25%, and deferring or canceling purchases for new school buses, supplies and other materials. 

 

Q:  What do we get if the levy passes?

A:  If the levy passes, Olmsted Falls will be able to maintain our Triple A excellence that is a hallmark for our community.  This experience includes the ability to offer a wide range of activities and an all-inclusive approach to education. It also includes the excellent teaching and smaller class sizes we have become accustomed to and the ability to offer up-to-date resources and technology that is comparable to other top-rated districts in the state.  

This operating levy will generate $5,189,000 per year for the school district.

 

Q:  What will happen if the levy does not pass?

A:  If the levy does not pass, then we have to reduce our budget in the near future. That means our schools would have to cut programs and services and reduce opportunities for students. 

 

Q:  Hasn’t money from community partnerships been enough to fund our schools?

A:  Money from community partnerships has been a huge benefit to Olmsted Falls City Schools, but the budget is stretched thin and more is needed to maintain our current standards. We are very thankful for our community partnerships and hope they continue, but they make up only a small part of our budget.

 

Q: We passed a 2.8 mill Permanent Improvement levy in 2011 and a Permanent Improvement/Bond Issue in 2016.  Do we really need another levy now?
 
A: The Permanent Improvement levy and the Bond Issue were both important funding sources for Olmsted Falls Schools, but those serve different purposes than the Operating Levy that is on the ballot for March of 2020.  The Permanent Improvement levy that passed in 2011 was used for repairs, lasted 5 years and has expired.  The bond issue and PI that were passed in 2016 did not raise taxes.  The bond issue was used for construction at the high school and the Permanent Improvement Levy is being used for repairs throughout the district.  The money from the bond issue and the PI cannot be used for operating expenses.  
 
An operating levy generates funds for the day-to-day operations of the school district like staffing, utilities, and supplies. The funding from this operating levy would allow Olmsted Falls to maintain our Triple A excellence that our community has come to expect.  Our last operating levy was passed in 2010.

 

Q: Does Olmsted Falls Schools receive funding from the county, township and city ballot issues?

A: No. The school district has totally separate funding sources from the county, township and city.  There is no crossover with those revenue streams.  

 

General Questions About Voting

 

Q:  Can I vote before Election Day, even in March?

A:  Yes. There are several ways to vote early in this election. 

  • Anyone who is registered to vote in Ohio can cast their vote early at the Board of Elections Office at 2925 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115. Early voting starts February 19 and runs through March 16.  Go to https://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/ to learn early voting hours.

  • Early votes can also be cast by mail through the absentee ballot/early voting ballot application.  

    • To learn more and to initiate your ballot request, visit https://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/VoteByMail.aspx.

    • The mailing of ballots takes time. We recommend that you plan ahead and allow for a few week’s time so that you can receive and return your ballot ahead of the election.

 

Q:  How do I register to vote?

A:  Go to https://olvr.ohiosos.gov/ to register to vote. The deadline to register is February 18, 2020.

 

Remember that certain changes of information can trigger an update to your voter registration.  So, if you have had a name or address change, for example, you will want to update your information. 

 

Q:  Where do I vote?

A:  To find your voting location, go to https://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/My-Polling-Location.aspx.

 

General Questions About Levies

 

Q. What is a mill?

A.  Local tax rates against property are always computed in mills. School levies are presented in mills. A mill generates $1.00 in property taxes for every $1,000 of assessed value of property it is levied against. Homes in Ohio are assessed at 35% of their market value, which means, you only pay taxes on 35% of the market value of your home.

The example below shows the calculation of the cost of one-mill on a home with a market value of $100,000: 

Home Market Value       $ 100,000

Assessed Rate                35%

Home Assessed Value   $ 35,000

Rate for One Mill             .001

Cost of One-Mill              $35


 

Q:  What is an operating levy?  

A:  An operating levy generates funds for the day-to-day operations of the school district like staffing, utilities, and supplies.  

 

Q:  What is the difference between “Market Value” and “Assessed Value”?

A:  “Market Value” is defined as the price your property would likely sell for in an open and competitive market.  “Assessed Value” on real estate is set at 35% of market value by the state of Ohio. Assessed value is the value of taxable property to which the tax rate is applied to compute the amount of property taxes.  


Q:  Who can I contact with additional questions?

A: Providing our school community with information regarding the levy is a top priority for Olmsted Falls City Schools.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact Superintendent Jim Lloyd. We welcome your interest in the school district and would be happy to discuss your questions.  You can also find additional information on the district website at https://www.ofcs.net.


Dr. James Lloyd

440-427-6001

jlloyd@ofcs.net

Contact Us

Olmsted Falls City Schools26937 Bagley Road
Olmsted Falls, OH 44138