Willoughby-Eastlake School Levy…third time a charm?

you decide

For those living in the Willoughby-Eastlake School district, you will again get to vote on another property tax levy on the March 17, 2020 ballot.  The property tax will commence in 2020 with the collection in 2021.

If it does not pass, in our opinion, the taxpayers are sending a huge message to the Superintendent and the entire school board that they no longer have confidence in them to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.

Just remember property tax levies for public schools will ALWAYS increase since their expenditures NEVER go down.

Here is the resolution passed by the W-E School Board:    2020 W-E School Levy

Here are some pertinent facts about the levy:
1. Emergency Levy
2. Additional Tax
3. Will raise $8,500,000 each year in new property taxes.
4. The tax will be collected for a period of 10 years.
5. The tax to be paid by the  taxpayer is 49.4 cents per $100 of valuation.
6. Total tax valuation of the (political) sub-division in calculating the estimated property tax revenue is $1,721,628,730.

Here are the formulas you can use to double check their numbers:
[$1,721,628,730 / $100 = $17,216,387.30 x .494 = $8,504,895.32]
The Auditor’s number: [$8,500,000 / (($1,721,628,730 / $100) = $0.494]

What does this mean for the average taxpayer?
Item number 5 above is written as required by the Ohio Revised Code.  It is confusing to the taxpayer, and, in our opinion, is meant to be that way.  We call it a deception.


We have been told that for the past 15 years legislators have been trying to simplify the ballot language, but have been thwarted by the school lobbyists (paid by taxpayers’ property tax funds given to schools, and through union dues).  Here is a prior article we wrote about this issue.


John Rogers State Rep 60th district


Current State Representative John Rogers (District 60), who wants to be your next Lake County Commissioner, voted against legislation that would simplify the ballot language that would help the taxpayers better understand the issue.   He is certainly not supporting the average taxpayer.  We can only imagine what he would do as a Lake County Commissioner….YIKES!

Jamie Callender



State Rep. Jamie Callender (District 61) voted to approve the legislation that would simplify the ballot language.



This new tax will cost the W-E school district taxpayers $172.90 in additional property taxes each year for every $100,000 in property valuation. [$35.00 x 4.94 mills = $172.90]
For the purist in the audience, here is the full calculation:
[$100,000 x 35% = $35,000 assessed value x (4.94 / 1,000) = $172.90]

Here is a chart of the costs for homes valued from $100K to $500K.  The Housing Affordability Threshold % [HAT%] is the additional annual income needed to pay the new annual tax – assuming the the homeowner is currently at the 30% threshold.

Market Value of Home             New Annual Taxes        10 Year Tax Bill       HAT @ 30%
$100,000                                             $172.90                            $1,729,00               $   576.33
$200,000                                             $345.80                           $3,458.00               $1,152.66
$300,000                                             $518.70                            $5,187.00               $1,729.00
$400,000                                             $691.60                            $6,916.00               $2,305.33
$500,000                                             $864.50                            $8,645.00               $2,881.66

From the State of Ohio website we captured these definitions:

Emergency Levy:
“An emergency levy is a fixed-sum levy, enacted to generate a specific amount of revenue
in each year it is in effect. Fixed-sum levy rates are adjusted annually, up or down, to ensure the specified amount of revenue. Since emergency levies have this built in rate restriction, they are not subject to tax reduction factors (HB 920)”
(LFC Comment:  Willoughby-Eastlake school district is the champion of the Emergency levy – everything is an emergency for them.)

Tax Reduction Factors:
“Tax reduction factors, in very simple terms, eliminate tax revenue that would otherwise
result from appreciating real property values (exceptions to this are discussed later). Reduction factors do not apply to inside levies.

It is because of these reduction factors that there are two classes of real property, residential and agricultural (Class I) and commercial and industrial (Class II). The logic behind this separation is that residential property has historically appreciated at a faster rate than commercial and industrial property, and so to neutralize the effects of appreciation on outside levies separate reduction factors are calculated for each class of

Reduction factors are applied to certain tax levies to calculate effective tax rates.  Reduction factors decrease the tax rate as taxable values increase and increase the tax rate as  taxable values decrease; however the effective rate cannot increase above the initial rate approved by voters.”

Categories: Lake, Real Estate Taxes, Tax Levies, Uncategorized

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  37. Actually the overall rating of W-E schools is a C, but the STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT grade level is a D and has been for 5 years. What’s wrong is obvious dysfunction and incompetence. Totally agree with the above –“throwing $$$ “……. is NOT addressing the real problem.

  38. 65% of our Real Estate taxes go to the WES now. Do not say that it is just 14 dollars and change a month. How many 14 dollars is 65 %. What are we getting for our money . A school system that is rated B-. When people look at a school system when looking to relocate look at how good the school system is B– is not a good Rating. Kirtland is A- and Mayfield is A+.. What is wrong here. Throwing money at a problem is not the answer .

  39. That is the dirty little secret about our system. Keep putting an issue on the ballot until is ultimately passes because of voter apathy.

  40. VOTE NO !!! I do not get this the levy FAILED !!! What do we just
    keep putting the levy on till it passes !!! People cannot afford this !! I am
    sure they can find other ways to get this money !!! VOTE NO NO NO !!!

  41. We do not believe that there was a reduction in administrators or teachers. Unfortunately, public school expenditures will ALWAYS go up.

  42. Enrollment in W-E schools decreased by 504 students from 2014 to 2019 according to State filed douments. That would equal a 20-25 reduction in teachers. At a salary/benefits of $100,000 the math works out to $2,000,000 to $2,500,000 in savings. Was there a reduction in force?

  43. School expenditures will NEVER go down. They will be back every 3 – 5 years for more property taxes.

  44. I just paid my property taxes. That should say enough about how much the schools are getting and my total taxes. How much enough. T his levy isn’tthelast we are going to see over the next ten years.

  45. I would volunteer!
    its a good idea…..but how does the task force get any influence????
    much solid effort could be made….to only fall on deaf ears…

  46. That is a great idea! But that is a long term solution. I was hoping for a solution that would help us get us out of the ‘renewal levy hell in the short term.

  47. That is a great idea! But that will be a long term solution. I was looking for something that can help us get out of our ‘renewal levy hell’ in the short term.

  48. Here’s a possible suggestion: A task force comprised of a couple of teachers, students, senior citizens and parents. This would address the past practices and present standards for future planning. Input from those affected, especially residents on a fixed income, could provide valuable input on how to live within a budget to achieve the best results. Volunteers?

    Mrs. P

  49. Other than an income tax, the only other suggestion we have is that the State of Ohio, instead of giving the $6,020 per pupil each year to the schools, would give the money to the parents. The parents would then decide where to send their children for schooling – including home schooling. This would make the schools compete for the children. Failing schools would be closed. for lack of enrollment. All busing required would be the responsibility of the family. Schools would then be more mindful of their operating expenses, and parents get to choose which school is best for their children.

  50. Is there any way to get School Board Administration to consider non-standard means for generating revenue/cutting costs? (so that they can become more self sufficient, in light of the state cutting back on its funding) Some districts around the country have implemented some creative solutions.

    Ideas have been submitted to them, but they do not seem interested.
    I know that a ‘recall vote’ is possible to do (drastic).

    Any suggestions?

  51. Is there a way to get the School District administration to look at other means of generating revenue/cutting costs? (so that they can become more self sufficient, since the state has reduced its funding) Other districts around the country have implemented some very creative solutions.

    Suggestions were submitted to them, but it feels like they are not interested.
    I do know that a ‘recall vote’ for the board members is a possible (yet drastic) possibility.

    any suggestions?

  52. Thank you, that is exactly what we want to accomplish. Give our citizens a platform to learn the truth and express their thoughts.

  53. As someone recently commented, “this is a senior citizen killer”. Thompson made a statement on social media that if we (seniors)….” can’t manage our finances we should sell and move…”! ! Another incredible suggestion by this genius is telling residents to install “green lights” outside their residence! No wonder the W-E schools are dysfunctional!!

    It is unrealistic to expect the widow (comment above), and we on fixed incomes to deplete our savings to support a “failing” school system. He’s asking for more $$$, but WE don’t have that option!!!

    I would urge everyone to get this message circulated before the State has to take over and additional $$$ is tossed into a bottomless pit — out with the super and his board of bandits.

    VOTE NO NO NO !!!

    P.S. A grateful thanks to the “lobbyistsforcitizens” for giving we victims a platform!

  54. So very sorry for your loss of your husband. There are many citizens that are struggling to make ends meet. We are trying to convey that message to the elected officials, but, quite frankly, we are not gaining any traction with them. Our only hope is to say NO to any and all property tax levies. It is the only way to get their attention to address the unconstitutional use of property taxes to fund public schools.

  55. Husband passed 12-2018! Lost 50% income. How do I manage another $300 added to prop.tax?

  56. I concur with the above in addition to the following:

    From the State of Oho Accountability office: Since 2015 the achievement grade for W-E is a D. This is based on the number of students who pass state tests and their performance. The overall grade for the district is a C. Perhaps extra curricular activities should be cut completely and focus on actually educating?

    Also, the W-E Administration has 45 fulltime staffers, no part time. Are any cuts being considered in this area? Yes, indeed, costly administration building on SOM.

    How many retired teachers are “double dipping” as substitutes and at what salary?

    RT @Thompson_WESup: “Install green light bulbs outside as a reminder to everyone in the community to vote on March 17. Together we can ligh…” This ridiculous idea is indicative of Thompson’s judgement and obvious stupidity. Is he going to pay for these green light bulbs or the homeowners’ increased electric bill?

    No wonder the schools weren’t open in a timely fashion in 2019 and an ongoing poor scholastic rating. BUT there is a brand new swimming pool/ school facilities!

    Neither the Superintendent or the School Board can educate, administrate or budget. I personally think they all should be removed and certainly no more $$$ taxed for the bottomless pit!


  1. March 17, 2020…are you Taxed Enough Already? – Lobbyists for Citizens

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