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May
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Yellow Springs High School
Rendering submitted by the Yellow Springs School Board.

Rendering submitted by the Yellow Springs School Board.

The school levy: What you need to know

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On Tuesday, May 8, residents of the Yellow Springs Exempted Village School District will vote on a combined property tax and income tax bond levy for the renovation and replacement of the local middle school and high school. A 4.7-mill property tax levy and 0.25 percent income tax will pay for $18.5 million of facility improvements.

If the levy passes, the new tax rates would take effect at the start of 2019.

1. Where and when do I vote?

Residents of Yellow Springs (all precincts) and precinct 456 of Miami Township will vote at Antioch University Midwest, 900 Dayton Street, in Yellow Springs, located at the corner of E. Enon Rd. and Dayton St. Precinct 455 of Miami Township, which begins east of Meredith Road, will vote at Cedarville Grace Baptist Church , 109 N. Main St., in Cedarville.

For others in the school district, you can confirm your voting location using the Greene County Board of Elections Poll Finder. Sample ballots can also be viewed after searching for a polling location.

The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

2. What does the ballot measure say?

3. How much more would I pay if the school levy passes?

How much your household will pay depends upon your appraised property value and your household’s annual income. Use our tax levy calculator for an estimate of what you might pay.

4. How can I learn about the levy’s history and context?

Here are some articles on the levy from the News archive:

• March 15 — YSHS/McKinney plan focus of forum

Questions about time frame and concerns about health and safety predominated at the community discussion Thursday, March 1, when an estimated 75 people attended a public forum presented by the Yellow Springs School District

• Feb. 22 — A closer look at local school taxes

The proposed levy would cost a typical Yellow Springs household $403 more per year on top of the $2,369 such a household currently pays in property and income taxes to the school, using the median Yellow Springs income of $62,500 and a home appraised at $150,000.

• Jan. 25 — School board approves May levy

The school board’s December vote indicated the board’s approval of the combined income tax/bond levy measure, and the Jan. 11 resolution “officially makes it a ballot issue,” Superintendent Mario Basora said.

• Dec. 28, 2017 — School board seeks levy, tax increase for facilities improvements

The ballot request supports a plan that focuses the district’s immediate facility improvements on the middle and high school complex on East Enon Road and leaves the downtown-located elementary school for a later time and separate funding.

• Dec. 14, 2017 — A closer look at the OFCC report

District leaders have said that major local investments are necessary to fix myriad structural and mechanical issues and bring the learning environment of Yellow Springs schools into the 21st century. The state assessment, they say, is the best available tool for determining what needs to be addressed. But some local residents have raised questions about the state assessment’s relevance to Yellow Springs schools.

• Nov. 16, 2017 — School board meeting: $18.5 million plan discussed

The school board discussed the plan at its Nov. 9 meeting, together with a second option, a $20.8 million proposal that would include a community performance space at the high school.

• Nov. 9, 2017 — School facilities update: K-12 options off the table

The Yellow Springs school district is no longer considering building options that would put a combined K–12 facility on a single site, according to Superintendent Mario Basora this week. Basora cited cost as the reason for taking the K–12 options off the table.

• Oct. 26, 2017 — Citizens speak on school facilities

Villagers’ questions and concerns about the impact of new school facilities on local affordability and the environment came to the fore at a recent public forum.

• Oct. 5, 2017 — Schools survey underway

This week and next, several hundred villagers will be contacted by Wright State researchers and asked about their preferences for addressing the needs of local school facilities.

• Sept. 28, 2017 — Board of Education: Meeting focuses on facilities

The Yellow Springs Board of Education met in a work session on Wednesday, Sept. 13, to take stock of the ongoing discussion about the future of the district’s physical facilities. Architect Mike Ruetschle was on hand for the work session to present an overview of the process thus far and lay out possible options based on recommendations of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and community feedback.

• Aug. 17, 2017 — School facilities question: One town builds, one does not

In the past 10 or so years, every school district in Greene County, except Yellow Springs, has either already built new school buildings or passed a levy to do so soon. While many area school districts have chosen to rebuild facilities, rebuilding in Yellow Springs would mean something significantly different than in other Greene County communities. 

• July 27, 2017 — ‘Community Pulse:’ YS school facilities discussed

About 50 villagers heard from a panel of eight Yellow Springs School district teachers and shared their ideas, questions and concerns on the future of the district’s school building. While most of the teachers spoke about how the aging facilities negatively affected classroom instruction and student learning, a number of villagers seemed unconvinced that the costly course of action outlined by the OFCC is immediately necessary to correct problems identified in the structures.

• July 6, 2017 — Meeting eyes Yellow Springs school facilities

The focus of the event was a recent assessment of the condition of local school buildings by the Ohio Facility Construction Commission, or OFCC, presented by OFCC planner Glenn Rowell.

• April 6, 2017 — Schools seek input on future of buildings

Approximately 65 villagers returned to high school earlier this week for the first community engagement forum dedicated to discussing the question of new district facilities.

• Feb. 9, 2017 — Yellow Springs School Board: Next step on facilities update

Build new buildings? Renovate existing structures? Maintain the current facilities? These are some of the options that Yellow Springs school board members — and soon Yellow Springs residents — will be considering as the board weighs options for dealing with aging infrastructure and meeting the district’s evolving instructional needs.

5. Where can I find pros and cons of the issue?

Read the May 3 issue of the News, which includes six pages of letters from community members representing diverse views on the levy, as well as an article summarizing the pro and con arguments.

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The school levy: What you need to know

by Megan Bachman