Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
All Mercer and Auglaize levies pass at polls
From staff reports
All local levies in Mercer and Auglaize counties passed at the polls Tuesday.
Across the state, the election featured 128 school taxes on the ballots, and results were mixed, according to the Associated Press this morning. School superintendents where levies went down blamed the poor economy.
Locally, levies passed for Mercer County MR/DD, the village of Rockford and Parkway, St. Henry, New Bremen and St. Marys schools.
Voter turnout was 21 percent in Auglaize County and just 12 percent in Mercer County.
Mercer County voters made it perfectly clear they support those with mental and physical disabilities.
The proposed five-year, 1.36-mill levy was overwhelmingly passed with 84 percent voting for its renewal. It will continue to generate $1.479 million annually for a variety of programs such as early childhood intervention, preschool programs, CA Industries (adult workshop) and others.
Homeowners with property valued at $100,000 will continue to pay about $40 per year for the levy.
The ballot tally concluded with 2,860 for the levy and 550 against.
Rockford village's 2.8-mill renewal levy passed easily with 75 percent voting yes. With 126 voters at the polls, 94 voted yes and 32 said no.
The current levy, which expires at the end of 2009, brings in $21,225. This five-year renewal will generate the same amount.
Services supplied by the levy include police protection, street lights, the annual cleanup day and others.
Homeowners with property valued at $100,000 will continue to pay about $41.79 per year for the levy.
Parkway Local Schools
Parkway school district voters in Mercer County handily passed the five-year, 1.5-mill permanent improvement levy, 63 percent to 37 percent.
With 514 votes cast, 323 voted for the levy and 191 voted against. In Van Wert County, school district residents there voted 29 for the levy and 24 against. There was one no vote in Auglaize County.
The primary use for the levy money will be new buses, according to Superintendent Greg Puthoff. The levy will generate $121,500 annually, which is no new cost to taxpayers.
Homeowners with property valued at $100,000 will continue to pay about $30 per year for the levy.
St. Henry Consolidated Local Schools
Seventy-five percent of St. Henry school district voters were in favor of renewing their current school levy when they cast their ballots on Tuesday.
The five-year, 8.7-mill levy passed with 767 yes votes; 255 residents opposed it. The tally includes 46 votes from Darke County residents in the St. Henry school district.
The levy asked voters to renew the current 8.5-mill emergency levy at an increased rate of 8.7 mills, to collect approximately $780,000 for operating costs - an increase of about $50,000. The current levy expires Dec. 31.
At the same time, the school's bond levy is being decreased by 0.6 mill to 4 mills, which will save taxpayers about $50,000 - equal to the amount of the new levy. Taxes paid by residents will remain about the same.
A homeowner with property valued at $100,000 will continue to pay approximately $247 per year.
St. Marys City Schools
Voters in the St. Marys City Schools district passed the five-year, 6.8-mill operational levy by about 11 percent. Of the 1,844 total voters, 1,015 were for the levy and 829 voted against it.
The levy will continue funding day-to-day operational costs and generate $1.83 million per year, which is no new cost to taxpayers.
Homeowners with property valued at $100,000 will continue to pay about $214.20 per year for the levy.
New Bremen Local Schools
Voters in the New Bremen Local Schools soundly approved renewal of a 1 percent income tax levy by a vote of 543 (67.2 percent) to 265 (32.8 percent).
The income tax first approved by voters in November 2004 generated nearly $1.5 million or 18 percent of the school district budget in 2008. Unlike property tax millage, the amount of revenue fluctuates along with residents' earnings.
Superintendent Ann Harvey called the levy "huge" for the district since the money is used across the board in every single category of school operation.
- Daily Standard reporters Shelley Grieshop, Janie Southard and Margie Wuebker contributed to this story.