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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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A public meeting to discuss an income tax ballot issue to fund operations of the Gibsonburg Exempted Village School District is scheduled for Oct. 29 at Hilfiker Elementary School.

The meeting, planned to last one hour, will start at 7:30 p.m.

Voters on Nov. 5 will decide a 0.75 percent income tax that will, if passed, generate approximately $750,000 annually during its 5-year duration.

No new major expenditures are planned.

“This is just to maintain what we have,” said Tom Peiffer, school superintendent. “We’ve lost $700,000 annually from the state starting in fiscal 2012 and 2013 and again this year. By the end of this year we’ll have lost $2.1 million in funding. This will replace that annual amount. That’s what we’re after.”

Historically, the district has received about 70 percent or so of its funding from the state but that’s drifted slightly lower to about the mid-60 percent level, Peiffer said.

The tax would be levied on district residents’ incomes, which the Ohio Department of Taxation defines for a school system as earned and self-employment income.

Because pensions and Social Security benefits aren’t affected by the tax, and it’s not a property tax, school officials are hoping senior citizens and farmers may be more supportive.

The district hasn’t asked voters for additional operating revenues since 1994, Peiffer said, adding a levy committee has been distributing informational fliers about the tax and he knew of no organized opposition to it.

In May, Gibsonburg voters rejected a 1 percent, 10-year income tax by about 40 votes.

Had it passed, it would have generated an estimated $950,000 annually.

A school income tax is collected in the same manner as the state income tax – through employer withholding, individual quarterly estimated payments, or annual returns, according to the department of taxation.

Voters in the district will also see a non-competitive race for three school board seats on the ballot.

Scott Pertner, Scott Widmer and Caesar Mendoza are the only candidates for the three open seats with terms to begin Jan. 1, 2014.

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