RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
WHEELERBURG — The Wheelersburg Board of Education has scheduled a public hearing immediately before its next school board meeting on Oct. 2. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the district’s request to transfer one-half of one mill from its General Fund and into its Permanent Improvement Fund. A transfer of this nature would normally create a tax increase on local properties, but Wheelersburg Superintendent Mark Knapp said the district has created a plan to be tax neutral, with no increase at all.
Because public school districts are required by state law to maintain at least 20 mills for their General Fund, if they do transfer one-half of one mill from that fund the Scioto County Auditor normally would have to add that amount to local property taxes to bring the General Fund back up to the minimum 20 mills. The end result would have been 20.5 mills collected on local properties.
Knapp said districts can transfer as much as five mills from their General Fund without voter approval.
One mill represents just one-tenth of one penny, and one-half mill on a property valued at $100,000 (taxed up to 35 percent) would be equal to $17.50 each year. Millage rates are used by school boards to calculate local school taxes to be collected, based on a derivation of the total property value within school district boundaries.
To make the matter tax neutral and not raise any local taxes, Knapp said the school has already refinanced its existing Construction Bond Levy to reduce it by exactly one-half of one mill. That will allow the district to move the millage from its General Fund and use the savings from its Bond Levy to replace it — all without having to raise any local taxes, he said.
“That’s the reason we’re not moving more millage to the Permanent Improvement Fund; because we have nothing to balance it with. We are not looking to increase taxes for anybody,” Knapp said.
The money would be used in the school’s Permanent Improvement Fund for things like bus replacements, computers, and building technology.
The school district currently collects a total of 26.4 mills for all of its funds. Knapp stressed that by transferring the millage from one fund into another, and replacing it with the Bond Levy savings, the district would not be collecting any additional millage than the amount they already collect.
The Wheelersburg School Board will discuss the issue during a public hearing before their next regular school board meeting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 22. If approved, it would take effect in January of 2013.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.