Voting "Yes" for a school renewal levy always makes sense -- even if you don't have kids in school. Not only does a renewal levy, like the one on the May 6 ballot for the Southeast Local School District, mean no new taxes, but there is a proven direct correlation between the state of local schools and property values. So voting for the school levy -- at any time -- is like putting money away for the day when you decide to sell your house.
This year, however, a "Yes" vote makes even more sense. Why? Because of something called a property tax rollback. Our state legislators, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to eliminate the property tax rollback in those areas where a school levy is not renewed at the time of the May election. Very simply, this means that if we don't renew the Southeast Local School levy on May 6, we will all pay 12.5 percemt more in property taxes because, until now, the state has been supplementing 12.5 percent of our property taxes. That's $125 for every $1,000 owed in property taxes.
We won't get a second chance at this opportunity. Even if the renewal levy goes back on the ballot in November or next year and passes, it's too late…the rollback will have already been eliminated. Thus, a "No" vote is the equivalent of taking money out of your own pocket.
This renewal levy isn't just about the kids; it's about our community. Prospective homeowners, especially young families, don't want to move into an area that doesn't support its schools
The last time a renewal levy was on the ballot, it only passed by a handful of votes. We need every vote. Don't rely on others to make the right decision. Our community can't afford to take any chances with something as important as its future.
Eileen Petridis, Paris Township