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March 2020 Levy
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s on the Ballot?
Big Walnut Local Schools is requesting the continuation of a 5.45-mill substitute operating levy. If the levy is approved, uninterrupted continuing collection would begin in 2021.
What will the levy fund?
This 5.45-mill substitute operating levy represents about 12% of the district’s current operating budget. It will fund the day-to-day operations of our schools, such as teachers, utilities and supplies.
What will it cost residents?
This is not a new tax. Big Walnut residents are already paying for this substitute operating levy to support the daily operations of our schools. If passed, the levy will cost approximately $167 per $100,000 of property value.
The current substitute operating levy is set to expire at the end of 2020. This substitute operating levy will allow us to continue the current quality of education at Big Walnut Schools. Our schools operate on a tight budget that only gets thinner every year because our increases in revenue are not keeping pace with the costs of new students coming into the district.
Why is the current substitute operating levy expiring?
The original 5-year levy was originally approved by voters in November 2010. It’s renewal was approved by voters again in May 2015.
Why is the March substitute operating levy a continuous levy and not a 5-year?
Every five years, when the levy is set to expire, it places our district at a financial cliff. That makes it difficult to plan and it puts at risk the great work we are doing. Moving to a continuing levy would secure these funds for the future.
What is a substitute operating levy?
It is called a substitute operating levy because it substitutes a current levy. This is an important distinction because it provides some revenue growth from newly constructed property in the district, whereas an emergency levy does not provide the same revenue growth potential. As a high growth district, this allows us to better capture revenue from new construction.
What happens if the levy doesn’t pass?
If the continuing substitute levy fails, then our schools will face immediate cuts and reductions effective with the start of the 2020-21 school year. Cuts and reductions are not a threat; we cannot fund what we cannot afford.
Can the bond and permanent improvement (PI) levies which passed in 2017 be used for daily operations?
No. The bond and permanent improvement (PI) issues passed by voters in 2017 are separate from the operating fund and cannot be used for daily operations. The funds from these two issues are dedicated to specific capital projects and uses.
How does Big Walnut compare to other districts?
Big Walnut compares favorably, offering a great quality of education and our schools are a good value to residents. We have a lower tax rate than nearly all the other school systems in the area. We pay a lower tax rate than almost all of our local comparison districts such as Olentangy, Delaware and Westerville.
Who is responsible for growth?
Schools do not control growth; local governments do. Our responsibility is to educate all students, including those that result from the growth. Enrollment projections show that new home growth (and subsequently new student enrollment) will only continue and that our current streams of revenue will not keep pace with the cost of new students coming to the district.
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For More Information
Learn more about the district's finances
See progress on the District's construction projects
March 2020 Levy Facts (.rtf)
Read more about the March 2020 Levy