B-C-S looking to Nov. ballot

Larry Limpf


In November, the Benton-Carroll-Salem administration and school board will be looking to overcome a 55-vote gap that decided a 3.9-mill, 5-year property tax levy on the Aug. 6 ballot.
Had it passed, the levy would have generated about $1.5 million annually for the district’s operating expenses.
According to unofficial results, 1,422 voted against the levy and 1,367 voted for it.
“We’re obviously disappointed for our kids,” said Guy Parmigian, district superintendent. “But we’re encouraged. The gap last time was about 300 votes. So we’re headed in the right direction.”
The required resolutions for placing another property tax issue on the November ballot are already being processed by the school board, he said.
“Nothing has changed. The need is still there. The board and administration still believe that our students deserve a strong education, a quality education. Just as students in the past at B-C-S have received a very high quality education, today’s students deserve a high quality education,” Parmigian said.
B-C-S officials stressed during the levy campaign that the levy is needed to offset the loss of about $6 million in revenue – about a third of the district’s $20 million operating budget.
The district is losing about $278,000 a year in state reimbursements designed to offset the end of public utility personal property taxes. The phase-out of the reimbursements began in 2015 and will continue through 2030, resulting in a total loss of about $4.5 million to the district.
And the de-valuation of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station reduced its taxable value by about three-fourths, causing B-C-S to lose about $4.6 million annually in tax revenues starting last year.
Last month, the state legislature approved a bill that threw a financial lifeline to the operators of nuclear and coal power plants in the state.
House Bill 6 fended off the closing of the Davis-Besse plant, leaving some in B-C-S to wonder if some voters withheld their support of the levy as a result.
“We tried to put it out there that HB 6 is great but it doesn’t really help us. The de-valuation is still there. We’re going to go out and listen again, doing coffees and meetings and Facebook live sessions like we have in the past. We’re not going to be deterred because we’re fighting for our 1,500 students,” Parmigian said.


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