Garaway Local Schools will have two levies on the ballot for the May 8, 2018, Primary Election. Both are needed to continue to meet regular operational expenses and provide a quality education for the community.
The first levy is a 5.8 mills Substitute Levy. This is essentially a continuation or renewal of the Emergency Levy approved by voters in 2009 with the exception that it can capture new revenue when new homes and new business/industry buildings are built in the District. The millage is actually decreased from 2009 so it will not increase taxes on current property for homeowners and businesses, but will allow growth as new homes and businesses are built in the Garaway District. It is important to note that it maintains the Homestead and Rollback credits for Senior Citizens. This levy will be for a continuing period so the District will not have to keep returning to voters for new levies.
The second levy is a 3 mill Emergency Levy for a ten year duration. This levy conservatively helps eliminate projected budget shortfalls due to inflationary expenses. An Emergency Levy is a “fixed sum” levy. This one will raise $750,000 for the District each year. It will not increase the tax bill as the appraisal on your home and business increases; it is a “set” amount. As your appraisal value increases, the millage on the levy decreases to keep the fixed sum and your tax payment the same. It will cost the taxpayer $105 per year (3 mills x $35) on a $100,000 home, or $8.75 per month. By passing this levy sooner, rather than later, the levy can be for a smaller amount and less burdensome to the taxpayer.
Over the years, Garaway Schools have been wise stewards of the community tax dollars. We have worked with area businesses and foundations to add building, grounds and educational improvements without burdening taxpayers. We have also increased utility efficiency to reduce expenses over time. During the last four years, we have ensured that our budget balanced and responsibly set aside revenue for future projects to keep our buildings open and supportive of an excellent education. At this point, we need community support for an expiring levy and increasing, unavoidable expenses.