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Vandalia-Butler Renewal Levy Request Frustrates Property Owner

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Vandalia-Butler School District

The Vandalia-Butler School District has a renewal property tax levy on the ballot next week.

Usually renewal levies are easy to pass—as they don’t raise anyone’s taxes. But at least one resident is planning to vote no.

 

Benjamin Jones lives in Butler Township and is tired of funding his local school district with property taxes—the value of your home or property determines how much you pay.

 

“There’s problems here. This financial model doesn’t work.”

 

Jones isn’t alone in that opinion. The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled, on four separate occasions, that the way the state funds its schools is unconstitutional because it ends up being unequal. Jones says he’s using his “no” vote as a way to force a conversation.

 

“If enough people will overcome this fear that is associated with not passing a school tax levy,” he said. “I mean, school tax levies are like apple pie and baseball.”

 

To be clear, Jones says he’s a big believer in public education. But he says schools must find different ways to raise money, like an income tax levy or, better yet, revamping the entire funding model.

The Vandalia-Butler levy will raise $4.5 million each year for the next five years. District officials say it’ll be used to avoid an operating deficit.