The Benton-Carroll-Salem Board of Education voted unanimously at a February 5th Special Meeting to ask voters to pass two separate tax issues on the May 8th ballot to raise new revenues that will secure the future for B-C-S students.
The need for the two tax issues is due to an unprecedented loss of $6 Million annually when comparing Fiscal Year 2017 to Fiscal Year 2022 revenues. There are two reasons for this unprecedented loss of revenue. First, there is the phase out of public utility tangible personal property (PUTPP) reimbursement payments from the state at the rate of approximately $300,000 per year, which began in 2015. This phase out continues through 2030. Second, the revenue loss stems from the recent de-valuation of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station by its owner, First Energy, through the Ohio Department of Taxation. The de-valuation results in an annual loss of 4.6 Million. For context, the current operating budget for the district is approximately $20 Million.
The B-C-S Board will seek to make up a little more than half of these losses, about $3.4 Million annually, through two tax issues that will be before voters on the May 8, 2018 ballot.
The first issue will be a 1% earned income tax. If passed by voters, the earned income tax would have to be paid by all residents of the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District for a period of 5 years, and subject to renewal. According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, "earned income" includes wages and self-employment earnings (including earnings from partnerships). "Earned income" does not include interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, rental income, lottery winnings, and income earned by estates. The earned income tax is collected in the same manner as the state income tax: through employer withholding, individual quarterly estimated payments, and annual returns. Employers are required to withhold the tax and submit payments to the state under the same rules and guidelines as they currently use to withhold the state income tax. Individuals subject to the tax are required to file an annual school district income tax return. According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, the 1% earned income tax would generate approximately $1.989 Million for the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District to be used for operating expenses.
The second issue before voters on the May 8th ballot will be a 3.89 mill property tax to be paid by all property owners for a period of 5 years, and subject to renewal. If passed, the property tax would cost an additional $136 per $100,000 of value for each parcel of property annually. This property tax issue would generate approximately $1.4 Million per year for the district to be used for operating expenses.
Speaking of the $6 Million annual loss in revenue, Superintendent Guy Parmigian said: "It was staggering that at a meeting of state officials this past October, no one around the table could think of another school district in state history who has lost the magnitude of revenue that Benton-Carroll-Salem is losing. Our loss of revenue is simply unprecedented."
Since operations began at Davis-Besse in 1977, residents of Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools have enjoyed exceptionally low tax rates due to the property values at the plant. In fact, currently, B-C-S residents pay the lowest taxes of any school district in Northwest Ohio.
The Board has taken a fiscally conservative approach over the past 6 years and will continue this into the future. For example, payroll expenses in 2018 are the same as they were in 2012. The Board has taken the position that it evaluates every vacancy that comes open due to retirement or resignation, and makes a decision on replacing the position. In the summer of 2017 alone, the Board reduced teaching positions, a maintenance position, and a bus mechanic position for a savings of $406,000. These efficiency measures will continue, but the magnitude of the $6 Million annual loss of revenue means that the school district cannot cut its way out of the situation without drastically reducing educational opportunities for students.
The Board has taken a proactive approach to the de-valuation. It explored the possibility of challenging the de-valuation of Davis-Besse. Unfortunately due to a change in law in 1989, the school district nor the county auditor can challenge a de-valuation once approved by the Ohio Department of Taxation. The Board has also reached out personally by traveling to First Energy headquarters in Akron to meet with their corporate executives. The Board asked First Energy for funding that would provide a short term "glide path" to adapt to the new financial reality due to the de-valuation and the loss of $4.6 Million overnight. First Energy indicated that it was not interested in providing any kind of financial assistance to the school district. The Board has also lobbied to halt or slow the phase out of the PUTPP payments from the state.
The Board has also advocated strongly for some financial assistance from the State of Ohio to help the school district adapt to the catastrophic losses. The Board, Treasurer, and Superintendent have worked closely Rep. Steve Arndt and Sen. Randy Gardner on coming up with a plan since the district was notified of the possible de-valuation in the spring of 2017. On January 23, 2018 the Board met in a work session with Arndt and Gardner at the Statehouse in Columbus to discuss a draft plan from the state. While the work on this draft plan continues, the Board has been told that financial help from the state would only be for a period of three years and cover only a fraction of the loss due to de-valuation. Any type of financial help from the state would have to be voted on and approved by the General Assembly, and this approval will be "difficult" and "challenging" according to Gardner and Arndt. The district looks to know an answer on financial assistance from the state this spring.
The Board will be hosting two informational community meetings on the two ballot issues that will be before voters. The dates are Monday, February 26 at 6:00 PM and Thursday, March 22 at 5:30 PM at the Oak Harbor High School Auditorium.
GUIDE ON SCHOOL DISTRICT INCOME TAXES
Click the link below for a guide published by the Ohio Department of Taxation concerning school district income taxes:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Election day is May 8, 2018. Absentee Voting (Early Voting) begins on April 10, 2018 at the Ottawa County Board of Elections office located at 8444 West SR 163 in Oak Harbor (just west of the county fairground). Voters can show up in person at their office at the following times:
Monday through Friday from April 10 through April 27 from 8--5. From Monday, April 30 through Friday, May 4 the Board of Elections is open from 8--7 for early voting. On Saturday, May 5 they are open from 8--4; on Sunday, May 6 they are open from 1--5; and on Monday, May 7 they are open from 8--2.
Oak Harbor Middle School Announcements
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Happy Birthday Wishes!
The Following Sport Forms are available in the office:
Little League Baseball
OHGSA (Girls Softball)
Basketball: 7th Grade against Edison on Thursday, February 1st. Girls Away and Boys Home beginning at 4:30 p.m. SBC Tournament on Tuesday, February 6th. The 7th grade boys will be at Briar and 8th grade at Huron. Girls 7th grade at Edison and 8th grade girls at Margaretta beginning at 4:30 p.m. Good luck to all players!
4th, 5th, 6th Girls Basketball at Edison 1:00, 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 4th Good luck!
Jr. High Boys Wrestling SBC-Home (High School Auxiliary Gym) Saturday, February 3rd beginning at 10:00 a.m. Good luck, wrestlers!
Parent-Teacher Conferences: February 15th, p.m. and February 16th a.m.-only necessary to schedule if you received a letter stating that your child’s teacher requests a conference. Please call the school office. There will be no school for students on Friday, February 16th.
No School on February 19th (President’s Day)
Spring Picture Day is Thursday, February 22nd.
Have a Happy Wednesday!
Good morning R.C. Waters!
Today is Friday, December 8, 2017
Happy “National Brownie Day!” Here’s a holiday I can really DIG into! YUM!
Today is a Rocket Pride Friday. Our recent journey to encourage kindness here at school is going very well and we have seen many acts of kindness that make our hearts very happy. It is also what we do outside of these walls that can help others and show how much we all care for others. We recently learned of a 3rd grader who helps with a very special food pantry. This food pantry provides food to those who are living with cancer. Often when illness enters a person’s life, they are unable to go out to get food or cannot work and therefore cannot buy food. The Nightingales Harvest Cancer Pantry and Resource Center will even deliver food to the home. "Student" helps at the food pantry and not only that, she also assists in deliveries and meets with those receiving the food. Her compassion and kindness have been described as “very special.” She is a good listener which is helpful to those she is visiting. This is a great example of kindness and Rocket Pride and we are very proud of you! Keep up the good work "Student" - you are AMAZING! GO ROCKETS!
Here’s your kindness idea for the day…donate your used books to the local library or a shelter.
Looking forward to next week....Monday our students will practice their program at the HS and then the Kindergarten and 1st grade students will their program at the HS. On Thursday our 2nd and 3rd graders will then perform their program. The Tech Committee will meet at 3:10 pm on Thursday. Friday is a big day here - it’s Santa Shop day!
As we begin another beautiful day here at RCW, I will remind you to always be:
Now I will ask you to please stand tall and proud, place your right hand over your heart and say the Pledge of Allegiance with today’s leader. After we finish with the Pledge, he will lead us in singing the Fight Song! GO ROCKETS!
Thursday, December 5, 2017
Announcements for today:
Happy Birthday Wishes!
- Be sure your child is dressing appropriately for Recess and or other outdoor class activities—very cold weather forecasted for midweek and beyond.
C A N NED F O O D D R I V E
- WHEN: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH THROUGH FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8TH
- WHO: ALL MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS AND STAFF
- WHY: CANNED GOODS WILL BE DONATED TO THE OTTAWA CO. HOLIDAY BUREAU
- SPONSORED BY: OHMS STUDENT COUNCIL AND 7TH GRADE SERVICE GROUP
- GOAL: 3,000 CANS-IF GOAL IS MET MR. SPURLOCK WILL BE DUCT TAPED TO THE WALL! THERE WILL BE OTHER GRADE LEVEL SHINANIGANS AS WELL! TBA
- FOR EVERY CANNED GOOD BROUGHT IN, A STUDENT WILL BE GIVEN 5 TICKETS TO ENTER IN A RAFFLE. SMALL GIFT CARDS WILL BE AWARDED BASED ON WHOSE NAME IS PULLED FROM THE HOPPER. THERE WILL BE A SEPARATE DRAWING FOR STAFF MEMBERS, TOO! SO, BRING IN THOSE CANNED GOODS, PLEASE!
- Swim meet today at 4:30 against Sandusky
- Wrestling meet at home on Saturday-Oak Harbor Invite beginning at 10 a.m. in the main gym
- Boys and Girls 7th grade basketball against Perkins - Girls home (at middle school) and boys away beginning at 4:30 p.m., today, December 7th.
- Ties and Tiaras Daddy/Daughter Dance-Sponsored by DECA will be held on Friday, December 15th from 6-8:30 PM. Open to any BCS student 6th grade or younger. Lots of activities going on while there, including a red carpet arrival. Please stop in the office to pick up a flyer if interested.
- TNT CRAFTS AFTER SCHOOL DECEMBER 12TH AND 13TH. STUDENTS WHO ARE INVOLVED, THEIR PARENTS WOULD HAVE BEEN CONTACTED BY BRENDA LOCHOTZKI. THEY WILL REPORT TO THE CAFETERIA AFTER SCHOOL.
- PLEASE CHECK YOUR CHILD’S CLOTHING INVENTORY. THERE ARE SEVERAL HOODIES, UNDERARMOUR, AND OTHER ITEMS LIKE SUNGLASSES, MITTENS, ETC. IN THE LOST AND FOUND. IF ITEMS ARE NOT CLAIMED BEFORE CHRISTMAS BREAK, THEY WILL BE TAKEN TO GOOD WILL. WE ARE SIMPLY OUT OF SPACE TO STORE ANY MORE LOST ITEMS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP WITH THIS!
Good morning R.C. Waters!
Today is Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Happy “Bathtub Party Day.” Who doesn’t love a party full of bubbles!
Recess with RC today
We have a special TIE meeting tonight at 6:00 - it’s a painting pallet party! How fun!
Way to go Bus # 29! You walked through the halls very quietly yesterday! We are proud of you!
November Top DOJO Students of the Month
Coming up on December 15 is a very special evening. It’s the “Ties & Tiaras Daddy-Daughter Dance!” There will be a red carpet complete with special photo opportunities, snacks and of course dancing! Make your plans now to attend!
Here’s an idea of kindness for your Tuesday…take a card, baked treat or holiday decoration to our local police department, fire station or EMS building. Let’s show our gratefulness and kindness at the same time.
As we begin another beautiful day here at RCW, I will remind you to always be:
And now I will ask you to please stand tall and proud, place your right hand over your heart and say the Pledge of Allegiance along with today’s leader.