TAXPAYERS FOR WESTERVILLE SCHOOLS
August, 2012 Newsletter
THANK YOU !!
Two really simple words but they say so much. A great big THANK YOU to all the wonderful volunteers who have braved the summer’s heat to gather signatures. To all the concerned citizens of the WCSD that have proudly stepped forward and added their name to the petition, allowing all voters of this District to voice their opinion on this issue in the November election we say Thank You.
The filing deadline is quickly approaching. We are getting close to reaching the required number of signatures needed to place this issue on the ballot. We encourage everyone to spread the word to 10 of their contacts, friends and neighbors that haven’t yet signed. Every signature could be the one that puts us over the top.
WHERE TO SIGN
- Westerville Public Library:
- WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY EVENINGS – 5:30 TO 8:30 PM
- SATURDAYS – 9 AM to 1 PM
- 4th Friday on July 27th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM – two locations – in front of Edward Jones on N. State and at the corner of College and State.
Now through Saturday, August 4.
WANT TO SIGN – CAN’T GET OUT
If you want to add your signature to the petition but are unable to get to the signing locations at the specified times, we can make arrangements to bring a petition to you. All you need to do is send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us your name, address and phone number and we will make arrangements to bring a petition to you.
BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETINGS
Attendance at WCSD BOE meetings is very important. The next few meetings are:
Monday, July 23
Monday, August 13
Monday, August 27
These are all scheduled for 6 PM in the Commons at Westerville South High School.
The agenda for the meeting may be found on the District’s website – http://www.boarddocs.com/oh/wcsd/board.nsf/public – and are usually available after midnight the Friday prior to the meeting. There are two opportunities to voice your opinion. The first section must be relative to an agenda item and the second is for general comments.
The second reading of the Ohio Health Contract for trainers will be at the 23rd’s meeting. Another important point to remember is the Superintendent’s contract indicates he may receive another increase as of August 1 and his annuity payment will also increase this year. Click here for a copy of the Superintendent’s contract. A listing of contracts can be found here.
The efforts of Taxpayers for Westerville Schools is purely a local effort accomplished with the financial support of WCSD residents. You can donate to continue these efforts – click here to donate.
As the deadline for filing the petition with the Board of Elections (8-8-12) is closely approaching, we ask that anyone who is presently circulating a petition please make sure that any and all signatures be turned in to either of the two locations on 4th Friday or at the Library on or before Saturday, August 4.
Have you had the chance to visit our FaceBook page? If not, click here.
Please go to the site and “LIKE” us. Our FaceBook administrator does a fantastic job of making sure articles are updated and following the various streams gives you the opportunity to read and then add your own comments to those of your fellow citizens.
“LETTER TO THE EDITOR”
A letter in Sunday’s (7-15-12) Dispatch questioned our statement regarding HIGH tax rates in the WCSD. The following should help:
“Gross” millage is the original millage that may have passed 50 years ago. Since the mid-1970′s, millage rates have been adjusted for changes in overall property values. The “effective” rate is the millage rate that is used to calculate your property tax bill. In the spreadsheet from the OH Department of Taxation website, column E, ’2011 Total Class I (Residential / Agricultural) Rate’ shows the rate used to calculate a homeowner’s school property tax rate.
As you can see, the “effective” rates in 2011 (certified by the county auditors in late 2011) were 52.09 mills for Westerville, 50.16 mills for Dublin, and 47.75 mills for Upper Arlington. With Westerville’s passage of the 6.71 mills (estimated by county auditor) school levy in March, that brings Westerville’s total to 58.80 mills. Also discovered in the information received from both county auditors (Franklin and Delaware County) was a 0.72 mill library bond levy that is included in the Westerville School property tax rate. This is not broken out in the OH Dept. of Taxation spreadsheet. However, to be accurate, we have subtracted the 0.72 mills from Westerville’s school millage 58.80, for a total effective rate of 58.08 (still higher than any other school property tax rate in Franklin and Delaware counties).
If you have a specific question, send an email to email@example.com with a phone number, and we will be glad to walk you through it.
DID YOU KNOW ??
The Ohio Ethics Commission requires through RC 102.02(A) that all BOE members serving the WCSD file annual a financial disclosure statement. For more information please go to http://ethics.ohio.gov/education/overview.shtml.
Several citizens have expressed concern over the property re-evaluation process. Questions were sent to the District Treasurer and his answers are below.
At the January organizational meeting, approval was granted for the services of several law firms. In speaking with numerous citizens in this District, one of these firms specializes in the issue of property valuations and the subsequent property taxes.
Please advise the amount we have paid to the law firm during FY 2012.
Please advise how much we have paid during FY2012 to cover appraisers for the re-evaluations.
Answer: “The county auditor/Treasurer’s office does the re-evaluations and then charges us for that service as part of their bill. Last fiscal year we paid Franklin and Delaware county $1,472,949 for all of their services.”
Please advise how much the district has recovered in property taxes through the expense of the attorney and the appraiser.
Answer: “Since we retained this firm in 1987, we have received tax benefits of $19,842,736!” (TFWS note: that would be approx $827,000 per year)
Please advise the number of parcels that the District through this procedure has filed an objection to a lower evaluation.
Answer: “We only file on commercial or industrial properties, as stated, and only if their is a sale or an unjustified reduction requested. The total number of permanent parcels in our district that are involved in these cases is well below 1% of all our parcels.”
Please advise the parameters furnished to the law firm for filing an objection to a lowering of the value.
Answer: “We hire them to review and represent us when it comes to tax appeals. We typically file the appeal so that our voice can be heard. For example, if a parcel is granted a tax reduction and that reduction process was not followed, we will file an appeal so that the process is followed. If we do not file an appeal, we have lost our right to defend the tax base of that individual parcel. We do not file just to file. We file to maintain our right to speak and to make sure the process is done correctly.”
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