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Ballot issue this year for Lake schools?
Written by Larry Limpf   
Monday, 22 February 2010 10:19

For some insight into how the area’s housing market is faring Jeff Carpenter need look no further than the local property tax receipts for the Lake Local School District.

It’s not a pretty picture: In fiscal year 2008, which began July 1, 2007, the district received about $6.2 million – roughly $685,000 more than the year before. But by fiscal year 2009 a drop in local tax revenue had begun and by the end of the year the district received only $6.04 million.

In the first half of fiscal year 2010, the district is $16,372 below where it was in 2009 in local revenues.

“The county auditor is telling us that property tax delinquencies among homeowners are three times higher than normal,” Carpenter, the school district’s treasurer, said last week. “It’s been showing up in our revenues and I’m sure other districts are seeing the same thing.”

The district’s earnings on invested funds have also been dwindling.

In 2008, Lake’s investments earned $229,493 when interest rates were in the range of 5 to 5.5 percent. In 2009, the district earned $123,833 as rates slid to between 2 and 3 percent. In the first half of 2010, Carpenter is projecting the district will earn less than $9,000 on investments receiving on average less than .02 percent.

 
Jerusalem Twp. Trustees seek return of $20,174.04 from Graffis
Written by Kelly Kaczala   
Monday, 22 February 2010 10:04

Jerusalem Township trustees want former Trustee Rodney Graffis to reimburse the township $20,174.04 that an audit in 2007 showed he had improperly received for health insurance coverage.

Trustee Joe Kiss said trustees plan to hire an attorney to seek recovery.

Trustees will begin interviewing candidates for legal counsel, he added.

Jerusalem Township reimburses township trustees for the out-of-pocket cost of health insurance premiums if they are denied or opt out of coverage from their primary employer. But a 2007 state audit showed that Graffis, who was defeated for re-election last November, was already getting health insurance coverage through his union.

Kiss had expected the Lucas County prosecutor’s office, which is the township’s attorney, would seek recovery from Graffis. But just five months after the audit’s finding, the prosecutor’s office said the Legislature had passed a bill that released Graffis, and other officials in Ohio with similar findings, from having to pay back the money.

House Bill 458 prohibited both the attorney general and county prosecutor from enforcing the state auditor’s findings for recovery.

 
Income tax request - Genoa schools to be on May ballot
Written by Larry Limpf   
Monday, 22 February 2010 10:08

The Genoa school board has approved a resolution to place a 1 percent income tax request on the May ballot.

Superintendent Dennis Mock said the district will face a deficit of about $1 million by June 30, 2012 if revenues don’t increase or expenditures aren’t reduced.

A 1 percent income tax would only be levied on earned income and not on pensions, interest or dividends, Social Security or disability benefits, or child support payments.

Mock said the income tax would roughly approximate 5.3 mills in property taxes in revenues.

Board members plan to use their next meeting to come up with a strategy for not seeking the renewal of some existing millage on residents’ tax bills.

“We are discussing some directions we can take,” Mock said. “We want to look at property taxes and see if we can let them expire.

The administration informed board members during last week’s meeting that the district has cut about $1.8 million – equal to about 11 mills in property taxes – from the operating budget since 2004.

 
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The Current Weather for Millbury, OH USA

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