TCS seeks 0.25 percent earned income tax

TROY — The Troy City Schools will seek an earned income tax levy on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The 0.25 earned income tax would raise $2 million per year if passed for general operating costs.

The district currently has a continuous 1.5 percent income tax. The 0.25 percent is on earned income tax only and will not affect property taxes.

This levy will cost someone who makes $50,000 per year approximately $2.40 per week. According to district officials, it is the first time the district has asked for new operating revenue in 14 years, since 2006.

Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper said the district is already in the process of reducing costs as a result of the $1.7 million the district has lost in state funding over the last 12 months.

“We are anticipating more cuts in the future as well,” Piper said. “If this levy fails we will have to look to additional cuts in transportation, food service, athletics, and staffing.”

Piper said the district currently provides “excellent programs and opportunities for our students at little to no cost.”

“While we believe that extracurricular and co-curricular programs should be accessible to all students, we would need to consider reinstating the pay to participate fees to provide those programs if the levy fails,” he said. “We also have some of the lowest school fees and lunch costs in our area, so we would have to consider raising those as well.”

Piper said the current cost reductions have been designed to have the least impact on classroom learning. With the state budget in a state of flux, with further cuts likely, Piper said the district doesn’t know “just how deep those cuts will be.”

“It will continue to be our goal to reduce the impact on the classroom, but that will be difficult if this levy fails and state cuts continue,” he said. “Some of the ways classrooms could be affected would include larger class sizes through staffing reductions, less technology, reduced support from instructional aides, and returning to half-day kindergarten.”

If the 0.25 percent additional earned income tax is passed by Troy residents, Piper said, “the funding will be used to continue to provide a high level of service to our students and families that they currently enjoy.”

Piper said if the issue is passed, Troy City Schools will be able to continue to offer all-day kindergarten, nurses and school counselors in each building, high school student transportation, transportation for students who live up to 2 miles from school, co-curricular and extracurricular programs and its wide variety of elective courses.

Piper said the district has already cut 15 positions from its staff, saving approximately $1 million. If successful on Nov. 3, some, but not all, of those positions, would be restored. The district’s staff have agreed to a salary freeze for the 2020-2021 school year and slashed its supply and materials budget by $600,000.

For more information, visit www.troy.k12.oh.us or join Piper on the social media platform Facebook Live on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 9 a.m. and 7 p..m. and Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. for live chats.