Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
St. Henry, Minster levies pass
By Daily Standard Staff
By MARGIE WUEBKER and WILLIAM KINCAID
Voters in the Minster and St. Henry school districts approved levies at the polls Tuesday.
Minster, which has been dealing with financial problems for two years, now has an income tax - the first in the school's history - after voters endorsed the 1/2 percent measure by a vote of 1,037 in favor and 856 opposed (55.75 percent to 44.25 percent).
The numbers reflect school district votes cast in Auglaize, Shelby and Mercer counties.
The income tax will generate $493,123 per year for five years with the revenue earmarked for operating expenses. While it takes 18 months for the school district to realize full revenue from an income tax, the vehicle allows for inflationary growth.
Minster voters also overwhelmingly endorsed renewal of the 8/10-mill permanent improvement levy by a count of 1,342 to 576 (71 to 28.97 percent). First approved in 1975, the levy will generate $65,000 per year for five years. Money has been used in the past for replacing roofing, brick repair, boiler repairs and equipment replacement.
"First and foremost, I want to say thank you to the voters for supporting our children, our schools and continuing our legacy of excellence," Superintendent Gayl Ray told The Daily Standard this morning. "I also want to applaud the dedication and efforts of the excellence committee that gave of their time and talents throughout the campaign."
The board of education had identified cuts in the event the measures failed.
"Those cuts will not be implemented thanks to the voters," Ray added.
St. Henry's 1.21-mill permanent improvement levy also was renewed Tuesday night, as an overwhelming majority of voters approved the levy in both Mercer and Darke counties.
In Mercer County the measure passed with nearly 65 percent of votes for the levy, or 1,170 to 636.
In Darke County, the levy passed with 62 percent for the levy, or 61 to 37.
The permanent improvement levy is used to finance long-term projects, such as purchasing of buses and computers, school officials have said.
The five-year levy will renew the current tax, slated to expire in December. The levy is set up to collect $96,700 annually.