Monday, May 14, 2012

TPS levy update - it's permanent!

Unmentioned so far, except on 1370 WSPD, is the fact that the 6.9 mill levy request that Toledo Public Schools plans to put on the November ballot is that the levy is permanent.

This means that the tax will be on your property forever.

There will be no renewal or replacement votes.

The only time you'll get a say on this is if and when you vote on November 6th.

TPS already has a permanent improvement levy for capital items (never goes away) and a bond retirement levy that will be in place until the bonds are paid off. These two, combined with the property taxes that go into their general fund, amount to about 60% of what a homeowner in the district pays in total property taxes.

For me, adding roughly $500 (the total for the value of my house and extra lot) will bump TPS up to 64% of my total property tax bill. You can check the AREIS system for your own taxes and, when the revenue from the levy is estimated, they will add the proposal to the Levy Estimator tab under the data section of your information and you'll know precisely how much this levy will cost you every year - after year...after year...after year.

I cannot stress enough how important it is going to be to communicate with your friends, neighbors, co-workers, organizations and those who endorse such measures that we need a performance audit prior to TPS asking for more money.

According to an email read on air while I was talking with Brian Wilson on WSPD this afternoon, the last performance audit TPS did was in 1998 and it identified $36 million in yearly savings. That's TWICE what they're asking for in the levy.

No more money until TPS proves to us that they've done everything they can to reduce costs and maximize efficiency!

1 comment:

Timothy W Higgins said...

I found it interesting in doing some research for a piece that I did that CATO found, for example, that the Chicago school district was spending $15,875 per student in 2010; which as the pundits keep telling us, needs to be increased. (Private schools in the district were at the same time spending $8,849 per pupil, BTW.)

At the same time, ABC recently told us that in 2012 the average college tuition at a 4 year public university at in-state rates is $16,488 per year; which is considered too high.

Adjusting the CATO number for inflation would same to place these numbers awfully close to each other, so which one cannot help but ask themselves whether this number is too high or low for education?

All of that being said, a permanent levy for TPS (like a permanent sales tax for TARTA) will always be wrong, since TPS will no longer be accountable to the taxpayers footing the bill and seemingly getting little for their investment.

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