Kenston’s Massive Property Tax Levy on the May 4th ballot

LFC Comments by T. Price:

Our team has been asked to research the Kenston School District property tax levy that is on the May 4th special election ballot.

Here are the levy “facts” provided by the Kenston school administration on their website.

https://kenstonlocal.org/levy-facts/

Let us pull back the curtain on this massive school levy, and share information with the citizens in the Kenston school district.

Over the years, we have done a great deal of research on property taxes, and will reveal the financial impact of this levy on the Kenston taxpayers. We are very concerned that if we stay on the path of ever-increasing property taxes, we will price seniors and those living on fixed incomes out of their homes that they have worked all their lives to achieve..

We created the following video to explain how property taxes impact your “Housing Affordability Threshold”.

Details on the tax levy:

4.75 mills for operating expensesCost per $100,000 valuation$166.25
1.75 mills for permanent exp.Cost per $100,000 valuation$ 61.25
6.5 mills TotalCost per $100,000 valuation$227.50

Let’s take a look at how much additional annual income would be needed by a taxpayer that currently has a Housing Affordable Threshold % of 25%. If the taxpayer does not realize the additional annual income, the school tax levy will move the taxpayer closer to the housing unaffordable threshold of 30%.

Home ValuationAnnual Increase in TaxesAdditional Annual Income Needed if H.A.T at 25%
$100,000$227.50$ 910.00
$150,000$341.25$1,365.00
$200,000$455.00$1,820.00
$300,000$682.50$2,730.00
$400,000$910.00$3,640.00
$500,000$1,137.50$4,550.00

Please note that the school’s administration states that the cost to the taxpayer PER MONTH will be $19.00. While this is technically accurate, we are calling it a deception. The schools will always try to push the lowest possible number in order to lull the taxpayers into believing that they are not asking for a lot of money. We are surprised that they did not say that it will only cost taxpayers $.62 per day per $100,000 of home valuation. [$227.50 / 365 = $.62 per day]

Continuous or CPT (continuing period of time) Levies:

We are seeing many property tax levies being converted to continuous levies. The taxpayers may even see the levy listed on the ballot as CPT.

The school administration and school boards do not want to continue to go back to the taxpayers, so they will try to slip in the fact that the levy will now be a continuous levy. That means that the levy will go on FOREVER!. The school board will no longer need to be accountable to the taxpayers because they are assured of the revenue stream.

School Enrollment

The student enrollment for the Kenston School District continues to decrease.

According to the Cupp Reports on the Ohio Department of Education website, we discovered that the total average enrollment in 2010 was 3,103 students. In 2015, that number was 2,879 and in 2020 it has reduced to 2,615 – a decrease of 488 students or 15.7% since 2010.

Cash Balances on Hand

According to their financial reporting: “The ending cash balance for January was estimated to be $6,602,757, and the actual cash balance was $8,527,101.”

“Through January, revenue is about $1.43 million over plan and expenditures are about $496,000 under plan.”

Comparison of Kenston Statistics

From the Ohio Department of Education website, we created this report comparing Kenston Local School District with a similar district, and the statewide averages.

Take a look at their teachers’ and administrators’ average salaries compared to a similar district and statewide averages.

Kenston Teachers $77,182Similar District $72,470Statewide Average $65,783
Kenston Administrators
$99,363
Similar District
$94,229
Statewide Average
$85,457

The assessed property values per student at $317,965 far exceeds the state average of $169,008.

Their local revenue per student at $11,544.25 exceeds the state average of $6,479.29 by $5,064.96  ( 78.1%).

LFC‘s final reminder: “DO NOT LET THEM PRICE YOU OUT OF YOUR HOME THAT YOU HAVE WORKED ALL YOUR LIFE TO ACHIEVE.

*****

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Categories: Geauga, Local News, Ohio Counties, Uncategorized

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