Howland board lays out plan if May levy doesn’t pass

HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – The Howland Board of Education outlined cuts and announced its contingency plan Wednesday after voting in January to ask voters for new money on the May ballot.

According to the board, Howland Local Schools is set to lose $1.9 million annually due to the elimination of the tangible personal property tax.

According to Howland Local Schools Treasurer Rhonda Amorganos, the tangible personal property tax once paid by business owners for their inventory and fixtures, was repealed as a way to give local businesses a tax break.

Originally, the state continued to provide reimbursements to school districts to compensate for the tax losses. In 2012, though, the state began to phase out the reimbursements.

“The district has had to endure losses of $2.9 million since 2012 when the state began to phase out reimbursements to the district for tangible personal property taxes no longer being collected,” said Amorganos.

It has been 15 years since the Howland Local School District has received new operating funds. Superintendent Kevin Spicher said if new money is not approved in May, the following cuts are planned:

  • Cuts to additional teaching and support staff.
  • Eliminate certain bus stops at students’ residences creating group bus stops.
  • Cuts would also be made to extra-curricular activity programs as well as certain high school electives and art, music and physical education curricula at the elementary levels.
  • Reduce outsourced classroom services,
  • Increase “pay-to-participate” fees
  • Reductions in building supplies and budgets.

The levy would raise $3.2 million per year and prevent the district from going into deficit spending. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $206 per year.