Kirtland School Property Tax Levy

Another Lake County School District is looking for voters to approve a property tax levy. This time it is the Kirtland Local School District. We have been asked to “pull back the curtain” once again on another tax levy.

The Lake County Board of Elections provided us with the May 4th, 2021 special election ballot language :

Kirtland Local School District (7 precincts + portion of Geauga County)
A renewal of 1.10 mills and an increase of 0.95 mills for general permanent improvements at a rate not exceeding 2.05 mills – Continuing Period of Time – Commencing 2021, first due 2022″

Let’s try to answer the following questions:

1. How much will this levy cost the homeowner?
2. What is the impact on the taxpayer’s HAT%?
3. What does “continuing period of time” mean?
4. How does Kirtland compare with other school districts?
5. Is student enrollment going up or down?
6. Why does the school administration believe that they need the additional taxes?
7. Is the Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project being taught in their schools?
8. How far left on the political scale has the school administration ventured?

1. How much will this levy cost the homeowner?

1.10 mills for operating expenses – renewalCost per $100,000 valuation$38.50
0.95 mills for general permanent improvementsCost per $100,000 valuation$33.25
2.05 mills TotalCost per $100,000 valuation$71.75

2. What is the impact on the taxpayer’s HAT%?

We have created the following video that explains what the Housing Affordability Threshold (HAT) is, and how it is calculated:

Home ValuationAdditional
Annual Tax
on 0.95 Mills
Calculation
Current
HAT of 25%
Additional
Annual Income
Needed
$100,000$33.25[$33.25 / .25]$133.00
$150,000$49.87[$49.87 / .25]$199.48
$200,000$66.50[$66.50 / .25]$266.00
$300,000$99.75[$99.75 / .25]$399.00
$400,000$133.00[$133.00 / .25]$532.00
$500,000$166.25[$166.25 / .25]$665.00

We have included only the additional 0.95 portion of the tax levy in the HAT calculation since the 1.10 mills is a renewal of an existing levy.

3. What does “continuing period of time” mean?

Continuous or CPT (continuing period of time) Levies:

We are seeing many property tax levies being placed on the ballot as 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.

Unfortunately, the Kirtland School Board may have “jumped the shark” on this levy by making all of it a continuous levy. We NEVER favor continuous levies, even a modest increase. School boards must always been accountable to the taxpayers.

4. How does Kirtland compare with other school districts?

We created the following chart from the Ohio Department of Education website:

Kirtland’s salaries and fringe benefits were 84.81% of total operating expenses compared to 79.50% of a similar size district and 75.22% for statewide averages.

The state revenue given to Kirtland Schools is significantly lower than the overall statewide average. [$1,803.12 vs. $6,162.05] The state officials look at the wealth of the district and conclude Kirtland taxpayers have the money to support their own local schools.

Kirtland’s teachers and administrators are paid more than the statewide average or a district of a similar size.

Kirtland’s operating expenses per pupil [$12,221.97] were slightly higher than the similar size district [$11,416.42], but lower than the statewide average [$12, 691.85].

5. Is student enrollment going up or down?

2020 [1,181] / 2015 [1,205] / 2010 [1,197]

Enrollment has remained rather flat in this small school district. Taxpayers are falling victims to the inflationary pressures to cover increasing costs with the renewal portion of the levy, but it does not explain the need for the additional 0.95 mills to pay for the permanent improvements.

6. Why does the school administration believe that they need the additional taxes?

The following article in the Kirtland Chronicle spells out the need for the tax increase. The 0.95 additional tax would generate $341,594 per year. The renovation of the football stadium will be the major focus of the improvement efforts. A brand new turf field is being planned. [No doubt, it will be a very nice stadium.]

7. Is the Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project being taught in their schools?

We spoke to Mr. Chad VanArnhem, Superintendent, and he stated that the Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project are not part of their curriculum, but they do teach “equality and inclusivity”.

8. How far left on the political scale has the school administration ventured?

We also found this interesting bit of information in the Kirtland Chronicle. They support the Marxist communist group Black Lives Matter!

The Burgess & Burgess Strategists’ President Vanessa Tey Iosue is helping promote the passage of the levy. A Lake County lobbyist made this statement to us: “Vanessa is a paid political consultant popular with democratic candidates and causes.” She is either doing pro bono work or is being paid by a volunteer group. The School Superintendent says that the school is not paying for her services.

When we look at the conduct in the Mayor’s office and the City Council, along with the school’s support of the communist Black Lives Matter group, and hiring a Democrat operative, we conclude that the City of Kirtland is turning a deep, deep shade of blue.

It is perplexing to us how with two leading local Republicans as residents (Jerry Cirino and Jason Wuliger) and the great number of other conservatives, their city is taking such a dramatic turn to the left.

Of course, the Kirtland taxpayers get to decide their fate on May 4th. Choose wisely.

*****

Advertisements

*****



Categories: Kirtland, Lake County Cities & Townships, Local News, Real Estate Taxes, Tax Levies, Uncategorized

Tags:

%d bloggers like this: