The board will vote in July whether to put the levies on the November ballot.
North Canton The North Canton City Schools district took one more step toward asking voters for an earned income tax and a bond issue for $55 million. The board voted on Wednesday evening to send the earned income tax to the state auditor to determine the percentage rates of the tax levy and to send the bond issue to the county auditor to determine the millage for a property tax levy.
The vote was four to one with Nancy Marion voting no. The board will vote in July whether to put the levies on the November ballot. If approved, the voters will see a single question on the ballot requesting approval for both levies.
Superintendent Jeff Wendorf said the school district earned income tax levy will be used for operating expenses, general permanent improvements and part of the facilities update project.
“The district needs operational money and we need to address updating the facilities. We’re asking for the earned income tax and the bond issue because we want to diversify our funding resources,” Wendorf said.
The bond issue will be used mainly for the facilities update project. The district has been conducting surveys and holding public meetings over the past school year to determine the need for updating or replacing buildings used in the district. The district was inspected by the Ohio Facility Construction Commission (OFCC), which determined that all buildings except for the high school need to have major components replaced.
Most of the buildings were found to need heating systems, roofing, electrical systems, windows, structure, interior lighting, emergency lighting, fire alarms, handicapped access, site work, exterior doors, life safety (keeping occupants safe) and more. The high school needs roofing, finishes, interior lighting, fire alarms, site work and loose furnishings replaced. Part of the district’s plan is to build two new pre-K through fifth grade buildings, a new middle school and renovate the high school. The state will contribute 37 percent of the cost for the project and the district must raise the remainder.
"The school district earned income tax will only be assessed to those living in the district who are working, it's for active payrolls only. Plus, it's protected from any future tax abatements imposed by the city. There are 166 districts in Ohio using the earned income tax and two here in Stark County, Massillon and Northwest," Wendorf said.
The school district earned income tax does not apply to people living on pensions, retirement savings, rental property income of Social Security incomes.
Wendorf said the board will have the rates determined by the state and county auditors and how those rates will affect wage earners and property owners in North Canton available at the July meeting.