HomeTop StoriesLexington Local Schools pass the renewal levy by a narrow margin

Lexington Local Schools pass the renewal levy by a narrow margin

LEXINGTON – School officials had to sweat it out during Tuesday’s primary election over the outcome of a $6.4 million, 10-year renewal levy.

Ultimately, voters supported the levy for Lexington Local Schools by a margin of 2,013 to 1,955 in the final, unofficial vote totals from Richland and Morrow counties’ boards of elections. The winning margin was 50.7% to 49.3%.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” school board chairman Keith Stoner said. “Thank you to voters for continuing to support our schools. It is such a critical need.”

County officials were concerned about recent property reappraisals because they feared they would make people less likely to vote yes.

Keith Steener

Keith Steener

“I thought it would be pretty tight,” Stoner said.

The levy failed to pass in Morrow County, but only 213 votes were cast.

The extension is not a new tax, and the money goes to operating costs, not to a new elementary school.

The renewal levy generates 10% of the district’s funding

The levy, which generates roughly 10% of the district’s general fund, will generate $2.705 million per year.

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“These funds will be used for operational costs including academic curriculum, instructional programs, teacher and support staff salaries, student transportation, updated technology, instructional supplies and other district operating costs,” Treasurer Jason Whitesel previously said.

The renewal levy was last introduced in 2014.

When the school board applied to the county auditor, the levy was set at 6.4 mills. After property reappraisals, the millage actually dropped to 4.9, even though it was listed at 6.4 on the ballot.

Whitesel said the levy provides a fixed amount regardless of property reappraisals.

Because this is an existing renewal levy, it remains subject to the state-covered homestead and rollback deduction. This offsets a portion of the community tax of approximately 12.5%, or approximately $338,000 per year.

Due to Ohio law, district employees cannot promote the implementation of a levy. That’s where Steve Risser and the nine-person renewal committee came in.

Risser got involved because he graduated from Lexington in 1994 and has children in 10th and 7th grades.

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“I’m very grateful,” he said. “I think I speak for the entire committee.”

Risser said the committee members were new to a levy campaign.

“Everyone on our committee was a rock star,” he said. “They all jumped in with both feet.”

mcaudill@gannett.com

419-521-7219

X: @MarkCau32059251

This article originally appeared in Mansfield News Journal: Voters pass renewal levy for Lexington Local Schools

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