Inside Millage…It can be confusing

We continue to review the Lake County Auditor’s Schedule A’s of the various Lake County school districts.

Here is Riverside School District:  RIVERSIDE SCHEDULE A 2018 – 2019

Here is Wickliffe City School District:  WICKLIFFE SCHEDULE A 2018 – 2019

For those that missed a prior post here is the Willoughby-Eastlake School District:

As a reminder, the inside millage is mandated by the State of Ohio and is not voted on by the taxpayers.  All increases in property valuations will result in an automatic tax increase to the taxpayers and increased revenue to the schools without the taxpayer having a say in the matter because of the inside millage.

The Schedule A provides a great deal of information about the property tax base, the impact of House Bill 920, and the various levies that the school districts have been able to pass over the years.

There are three classes of property subject to  property taxes:
Class I – Residential and Agricultural (any reduction to either group is offset by an increase to the other group)
Class II – Commercial and Industrial
Class III – Public Utility Tangible

The 100% valuation is the Auditor’s current value of all property.  The reduced % of 96% – 97%  is the Auditor’s estimated method of accounting for some taxes that are not paid on a timely basis.

The ‘Table of Reduction Factors’ is a product of H.B. 920 and reflects the reduction to the  tax levy’s original gross millage rate due to inflation factors.  (These calculations are done by the State of Ohio Tax Equalization Board and not the local Auditor’s office.)

The ‘Auditor’s Estimate of Tax Levy’ provides the detail of the property tax revenue for each levy and by property class.

Since we are discussing the inside millage, here is a brief summary of the revenue collected for the three school districts in this article:

School District                       100% Valuation               Total Inside Rev.        Total Rev.

Wickliffe                                   $279,221,190                      $1,393,873               $15,337,386
Riverside                                $1,099,266,130                      $5,065,418               $37,395,501
Willoughby-Eastlake           $1,696,238,720                       $7,816,268               $78,893,123

Both Riverside and Willoughby-Eastlake collect 4.8 mills for the inside millage, and Wickliffe collects 5.2 mills.

Remember 1.0 mill equals $35.00 per $100,000 of home valuation.

4.8 mills = $168.00 per $100,000 of home valuation.  (4.8 x $35.00)
5.2 mills = $182.00 per $100,000 of home valuation.  (5.2 x $35.00)

The amount of commercial and industrial class II property in the district has a significant impact on the total revenue collected for the schools.  In the “bedroom communities” (those with little class II property)  the homeowner bears the brunt of the school taxes.

School District                     100% II Valuation    Class II Inside Rev        Total Class II Rev.
Wickliffe                                   $62,919,380                      $314,094                      $4,121,845          Riverside                                 $115,105,180                      $530,405                      $3,783,078          Willoughby-Eastlake             $391,364,880                  $1,803,409                     $18,180,831

Wickliffe homeowners pay 66.7% of school taxes ($10,225,673 / $15,337,386)
Riverside homeowners (and farmers) pay 82.1% of school taxes ($30,708,792/$37,395,501)
Willoughby-Eastlake homeowners pay 67.7% of school taxes ($53,379,379 / $78,893,123)

Currently, most taxing districts are at 8.9 mills.  Therefore, there is only 1.1 mills available under the current 10 mill limit.  That 1.1 mills is available to be used ONLY by the Lake County Commissioners.  They can increase it without a vote of the taxpayers.

The inside millage was reduced by the Commissioners when they were successful in getting the sales tax increased.  If any political sub-division tries to get an increase in their inside millage, it would mean another political sub-division would have to reduce their inside millage.


Categories: Concord, Lake, Lake County Cities & Townships, Real Estate Taxes, Uncategorized, Wickliffe


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  10. Thank you, we are hoping that the average citizen will start to better understand the complex system of property taxes. Knowledge is power. Even the former County Auditor said that the whole property tax calculation is overly complex. In our opinion, it is meant to be that way. Attempts to simplify the ballot language for property tax levies has been defeated by the schools’ lobbyists. It is grossly unfair that they use our property taxes to pay lobbyists who strive to keep the average taxpayer “in the dark” about property taxes. There is a new day dawning……

  11. Brian, this and the other article about inside millage is a hell of an article. I’m sure the average citizen has no clue about this. I’m pissed ! It’s about time for the pitchforks .


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