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School Bond Passes

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Posted · Report post

The construction bond for new schools in the district passed 52% to 48% based upon a 72% voter turnout.

Interesting that all school related issues passed in Hamilton County, which is a first in my memory.

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Posted · Report post

I didn't realize that it was a first, and that intrigues me.  What are your thoughts on why all school related issues passed this time in Hamilton County, but not in the past?

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Posted · Report post

It's a first for me since 1980, I have no idea if it has ever happened before 1980. Winton Woods by far was the most narrow issue result in the County.

Village voted:

761 FOR, 1,126 AGAINST  (40%-60%)

Township very similar results.

Forest Park voted nearly 2 to 1 in favor. 75-80% of the voting population there.

Unexpected.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

So thanks Forest Park. 

 

Edited by nuttly

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Posted · Report post

Congrats on your victory. But when you really think about it the way our property values keep going down and down the school will soon owe me money. :o:lol::rolleyes::D

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Seeing how the communities voted, kind of makes you wish there was an electoral college process for multi-jurisdictional tax initiatives.  In this case, Forest Park through their shear numbers passes anissue where they get the majority of the benefits and shafts the residents of Springfield Township.

Edited by RocketScientist

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Posted · Report post

Seeing how the communities voted, kind of makes you wish there was an electoral college process for multi-jurisdictional tax initiatives.  In this case, Forest Park through their shear numbers passes an issue where they get the majority of the benefits and shafts the residents of Springfield Township.

State funding was the only driver for Forest Park residents. The state changed their part to 50%, but the state does not have any money. The funds come from taxpayers just as teacher salaries and retirement payments.  Education liberals (teachers and administrators) love to spend money that belongs to others (wealth redistribution). Currently, Greenhills individual real estate tax payments allocate 60%+ towards funding the WWCSD. The additional tax will add at least another 5% to the tax bill which is just crazy. The cost to those property owners with $100,00+ market value homes will owe $300+ additional annual taxes.

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Posted · Report post

All the "benefits" talked about from larger employment and construction (and destruction) jobs amuse me, its like taking a commission sales job and buying a lot of product to get your income up.  Its your money, just like here it is tax money, there is no creation of wealth.  We are spending our tax money to hire people to do things who will pay some tax back, and we say, "Wow what a big gain, they are paying taxes!".  And please don't tell me how half is coming from the state - that is my tax money also, it didn't drop out of the sky.

 

Now if you truly believe new buildings will help educate our youth, that's a separate argument.  And I guess that is why Cambridge and Oxford cannot graduate good students, all those old buildings and such.

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Posted · Report post

ligoriolivin,

You're correct. No brick or concrete block has ever educated a child.  Oh, there are some published evidence that it there is some relationship that new facilities have toward improved scores. But will that get them into Cambridge or Oxford (or on this side of the pond, Harvard or Yale) so they can enjoy ambiance of drafty old buildings from another age?  No, probably not, point conceded. 

However on the other hand, does it make sense for the recognized premier program in our district (Academy for Global Studies) to be housed in trailers at the HS (as it is now)?   Or how about 2nd graders at Beechwoods or Lakeside (WWPN & WWPS) in trailers with no bathrooms? 

You are also correct, that $50 Million in state matching funds for this project is our previous tax monies paid to the State of Ohio, specifically allocated for the construction of school buildings that every school district around us has already taken advantage of for their new schools.  Will it make us feel better to say, "Nah, spend that money some place else, we don't want it".....because they would, they have to?  Nor, should the Village overlook an ongoing stream of income, meaning less need for the Village to raise taxes (and that's income that is already going to Springfield Twsp. and Forest Park).

The Winton Woods School District can easily be the "poster child" for the basis of the DeRolph case decided four times by the Ohio Supreme Court that there is a distinct over-reliance of property taxes to fund Ohio schools.  Yet, as demonstrated with this issue, the problem has yet to be fixed.'  The "rules of the game" leave no satisfying answer. Starting with Vinton County schools, Perry County, and so on, each have had to match some % of local equity to receive funds.  Winton Woods, as defined by a laughable State analysis was "too wealthy" and was way done the list for these matching funds and at a much lower matching percentage.  Should WW have held classes in coal chutes as they were in Vinton County to prove the point?  (Although I know classes have been held in storage cages at WW Elem. in FP and other schools had some similar situations).  What's right?

Was this a good deal?  I guess we all have our opinions.  Was it a better deal than before? Yes.  Was it ever going to get better? No.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Greenhills - 40% For the Levy - 60% Against the Levy (Greenhills vote it down)
Springfield Township - 34% For the Levy - 66% Against the Levy (Springfield Township voted it down)
Forest Park - 63% For the Levy - 37% Against the Levy (Forest Park voted it in)

Greenhills said "NO" I don't want higher taxes and a school built in this community without seeing the plans and getting a better understanding of what's going to happen to the other buildings, and perhaps "I don't believe new schools will change anything".  Springfield Township said "NO" to the same, plus frankly they will have nothing to show for the taxes they pay.  Forest Park said "YES" we want higher taxes and we're okay if we have reached the "saturation point" with regards to taxation.  Forest Park controls the fiscal direction of Greenhills and Springfield Township and there is something fundamentally wrong with that concept.

With the new school tax -- if you can afford a house in Wyoming (which there are affordable homes) it's cheaper to live now in Wyoming than the Village of Greenhills -- once you consider all the taxes -- school tax, income tax, etc.  Also now, If you purchase a home in Greenhills for $100,000 or less -- chances are your mortgage and taxes will be equal to one another.  This does not include the additional Greenhills income tax -- strictly mortgage to taxes.

This is a bad decision for the Village of Greenhills.  There will be consequences.   For those who have crunched the numbers with all the adjacent communities I'm sure you know that Greenhills is no longer a viable option fiscally for new families. Springfield Township is still on the border because there is no income tax, but Greenhills is past the saturation point and so is Forest Park.  But, Forest Park voted it in -- so they have voluntarily accepted any consequences that comes with these taxes.  Greenhills did not!

Warrior, I know that there are several people looking at potential options and we need some real honesty here.  In the next 5, years what other taxes will be on the table for the school district and potentially the village?  I'm not looking to argue anything -- I simply want the truth and answers regarding the potential of additional taxes -- so that we can make fact based decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Christine

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Posted · Report post

Christine,

I really don't think there is for the foreseeable future.  The 2009 school levy was a 10 year emergency levy.  And, at the time really was an emergency, plus was only supposed to last 3-4 years at the time. That millage, representing $4.2 Million, runs out at the end of 2019.  Although I'm not involved with the schools anymore, I would anticipate that at worse the school district would simply ask to renew those funds without asking for any further increase in taxes.  By that time, some of the anticipated savings may be coming online (transportation, energy costs, some reduced staffing and administration, etc.). Plus, they have been getting some large grants recently, as well as new State Operations funding.

So 5 years out, I really don't see anything new for the schools, just renewal of existing in 2019 (should the voters approve).

The Village tax burden will actually be coming down with the pay off of both the street curb replacement and pool remodeling bonds passed years ago.  That's in the process of coming off now.  However, the Village looked at that, at the time, as trade off for the costs of trash and recycling service. For most, it was a wash.

There really isn't anything that I can see that would be needed to increase Village revenue in that time period either.  We've been pretty good with matching grants for new projects, most recently the South part of Winton Road and very soon new restrooms for the shelter and golf course. Most of the Village debt will be paid by the end of that timeframe as well.

Did I answer your question?

 

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Posted · Report post

Yes, thanks.  But, for 2020 - 2021 there is an anticipated tax levy for operations of the new schools -- correct?  I believe I saw that in the Forecast for approx. $6M?

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Posted · Report post

http://www.wintonwoods.org/userfiles/248/my%20files/five%20year%20forecast%20fy17.pdf?id=6782

Look at line 13.020. This is exactly what I was speaking about In the renewal/replacement of the 2009 emergency levy.  It runs out at the end of 2019.  Taxes are collected and paid out in arrears so only half of what was collected in the last year in 2019 from that levy would be paid out in 2020, Then the assumption with renewal in 2019, there is the 6 months lag in 2020 and then the full amount $4.15 Million (I said $4.2 from memory earlier, sorry).  It's still the same amount as what is currently being collected, it is not new money.  Follow?  It's 1/2 of $4.15 Million in 2020 and with renewal the same $4.15 in 2021.

No assumption was made in the 5 year forecast for any new buildings, nor would the State allowed one to be made in the required forecast. Only based upon existing tax measures.  Here are the assumptions that went into the forecast above.

http://www.wintonwoods.org/userfiles/248/my%20files/assumptions%20%202017%20oct.pdf?id=6783

 

 

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Posted · Report post

So what happens if the voters decide not to renew?  What's the impact?

 

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Posted · Report post

The same thing as if the renewal of a Village levy, or Library, Zoo, Mental Health, etc. levy fails.......services will have to get cut.  It's the danger, on the part of the governmental entity placing a "renewable levy" versus a Continuing Operations levy on the ballot.  The difference is tor the schools and the Village, there is no inflationary growth to the tax and the funds raised.  Whereas the other entities taxes float somewhat with property valuations.  That was the result of the HB 920 back in 1976 and why school levies seem to come up more often now.

Let's hope that doesn't happen in 2019.  I feel that would be shortsighted.

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Posted · Report post

I just hope they learn to care of what they are getting. They have a way of letting things go 

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Posted · Report post

Does anyone else find it ironic that recycling is taught like a religion in our schools today...take care of what you have and use and reuse it.  Yet the school district decides these buildings aren't new any more, and we would have to maintain them, tear 'em down, throw it out, build new ones!  Oh that's right the new ones will be greener, that makes it all right.

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Posted · Report post

Ligoriolivin,

Did you see the news yesterday of the renovations taking place at Music Hall.  It was announced with great pride that it was 102 years old.  I think that perhaps we are going to be kept alive because we have to pay the Bond Issue the next 37 years, as long as we have a pulse we will be paying.  Oh I forgot!  We will have $20.00 more a year now that the Pool Bond will be paid off.  That is only in Greenhills, Springfield Township will not have even that.  If I remember correctly they are only  sending 441 students to the new buildings, and Greenhills 661. 

By the way I am getting madder and greener.

The Mad Botanist

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Posted · Report post

I guess the 37 years is one of the biggest issues for me. Not that I will be long gone before that, I am happy to "plant trees I will never sit in the shade of".  Its just that the administration will be preaching the buildings are old and too expensive to maintain long before 37 years are up.  So we will have two or three generations of "investment" on the tax roles.

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Posted · Report post

While I am in favor of the students having up-to-par facilities, I had some misgivings about this particular deal as well even while I was in support of new schools.  For example, could we have gotten a better deal in terms of the amount the state kicked in?  Yes, according to some insiders I know who said that the state has fully funded (100%) new schools for some districts and that we weren't aggressive enough in pursuing additional funds from the state.  Another reason I believe we could have gotten a better deal is because all the people who were screaming "This is our last chance for state money!", "If we don't take it now, we'll lose it and some other district will get it!", "We'll go to the back of the line!", "There is no better deal!" were the exact same people screaming the exact same things during the previous bond issue, and guess what?  They were WRONG.  The state did come back with more money.  They should have learned from history itself, even if they didn't believe the people saying the state was positioned to offer more money.  I believe if we had asked for more from the state, we would have gotten more, and it would have been a win-win: new buildings with a lower taxpayer burden, which would have then resulted in a happier, more united community.

And I hear a lot of people questioning the 37 years.  I was always taught that it's a mistake to finance something, even a house, for that long of a term, and that you should always try to keep the term of the loan as short as possible.  The longest business loan I have ever taken out was 20 years, and even that term made me somewhat uncomfortable, and we are talking about financing the new buildings for almost twice that length.  I would have rather seen a shorter loan for the new school buildings, which would meant more per year but for a shorter term, and would have ultimately saved the taxpayers money since the total loan amount would have been less due to the interest savings with a shorter term.  A shorter term would have also guaranteed, as you stated, that we don't end up with a situation in which the district wants to rebuild again before these buildings are paid off.

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Posted · Report post

Ligoriolivin,

I agree with you 100%.  The way the present buildings have been treated are shameful.  I give the next set of buildings 25 years max. 

Keep in mind that the new restrictions for graduation are in place for 2018.  Please check the Enquirer on line, an article by Maria DeVito.  The replacement of Ohio Graduation Test is as follows: "Students must earn 18 out of a possible 35 points on seven end-of-course exams taken during high school, receive an industry credential in a career field or get a "remediation-free" score in the English Language Arts and Mathematics sections of a college-entrance exam."  It is projected that 30% to 40% WILL NOT RECEIVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. 

I am confident that Winton Woods will not fail to appear in that category.  I know every body will jump on me and my version of half empty glass.  I have been 5 years inside those walls.  I know that some good things are going on.  But many bad things are also going on.  Discipline control is abysmal.  Ask for Records Request at the Forest Park Police Department, and they will GLADLY report the year to date how many calls they had at the High School alone, how many ended in Court, (Juvenile or otherwise) and how many to the resource officer.  (With a healthy estimate of how many were swept under the rug.) 

The norm is that it does matter where you place the students 15@ to 20% will do a great job.  15% to 20% will fail or be pushed to barely pass.  That leaves 60% to 70% up for grabs...those are the ones that keep me awake at night.

The Mad Botanist

 

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Posted · Report post

Gambier Gal,

That is correct.  There are three districts in Ohio, one close by, and it was covered 100%.  (No one was left holding the bag for 37 years, but by now you must know that there is the Winton Woods way or the Highway.)

The Mad Botanist

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Posted · Report post

Mad, I am afraid I agree with you.  Not because all the students are dumb, not because all the teachers are ineffective or caring.  But, based on my limited inside knowledge, because discipline is a joke.  When students can drop the F bomb on teachers and aids, and then the teacher gets disciplined for sending the kid to the principal, there is no hope.

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Posted · Report post

Gambier Gal,

That is correct.  There are three districts in Ohio, one close by, and it was covered 100%.  (No one was left holding the bag for 37 years, but by now you must know that there is the Winton Woods way or the Highway.)

The Mad Botanist

With due respect to my colleague, this suggestion that there are 100% paid schools out there is frankly impossible based upon the formulas drafted by the OSFC back in the late 1990's.  The reason Winton Woods was so far down the list is because of valuation per student.   Those schools who would have received high percentage funding would have taken place nearly 20 years ago. It has literally taken WW that long to move up the list.

Those early schools had to come up with some amount of funding to match.

While I also find it hard to believe that the district did not ask for the full measurement of state assistance, they did receive nearly $20 Million more than what was offered just last year. It would seem logical that they asked for something, but that apparently is being unrecognized by some.

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