With Tuesday’s passage of an income tax, the administration and school board of the Gibsonburg Exempted Village School District avoided having to make cuts to programs that affect students, Tom Peiffer, superintendent said.
Voters approved the 5-year, 0.75 percent income tax by a 203-vote margin: 860 – for to 657 – against, according to unofficial results of the Sandusky County Board of Elections.
“It’s really nice to feel that support,” Peiffer said. “I’m happy for our kids. I think there was a realization we needed the money due to cuts in state funding. We’ll be working to maintain all the programs.”
The income tax is projected to generate approximately $750,000 annually during its 5-year life.
The administration has said the district has lost $700,000 a year due to cuts in state funding in fiscal 2012 and 2013 and again this year.
For a district that historically received about 70 percent or so of its funding from the state, the income tax was needed just to maintain the status quo, Peiffer said.
A thank you message to voters in bold red letters was posted on the district’s website.
The tax will be levied on district residents’ incomes, which the Ohio Department of Taxation defines for a school system as earned and self-employment income.
Pensions and Social Security benefits aren’t affected by the tax.
The district hasn’t asked voters for additional operating revenues since 1994.
According to the taxation department, three other school systems in Sandusky County are supported by income taxes: Clyde-Green Springs, 1 percent; Fremont, 1.25 percent, and Lakota, 1.5 percent.
Voters in other Sandusky County jurisdictions were generally supportive Tuesday of financial issues.
Two new levies to purchase a new first responder truck for the Madison Township Gibsonburg Volunteer Fire Department and to fund department operations were both approved. The 0.9-mill, 3-year levy for the vehicle is expected to generate about $57,000 annually and the 1-mill, 5-year levy for operations is expected to generate about $63,585 a year.
A 5.75-mill renewal levy for the Woodmore School District and a 0.5-mill renewal levy for the Sandusky County Health District were approved but voters rejected a request for a 0.8-mill, 5-year levy for the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.