More funds for educational needs will become available if the community of Bowling Green supports an ongoing income tax.
On November 2, voters in the Town of Bowling Green schools will be asked to support the maintenance of the district’s 0.05% income tax.
The wording of the ballot states, in part, that an annual income tax of 0.50% will be imposed for a continuous period, beginning in 2023, for the purpose of continuing expenses.
Voters have approved the income tax eight times since it first appeared in November 1992.
The tax generates approximately $ 3.9 million per year.
Converting it to a continuous levy will not increase taxes, eliminate voter fatigue and free up funds currently in reserve if a levy fails, board chairman Norm Geer said at the meeting. last month’s school board meeting.
Bowling Green has always kept enough funds to cover the loss of its withdrawals, but that money stays there and cannot be used, he said.
In April 2020, the community approved for an ongoing term a replacement tax of $ 1.35 million which replaced an emergency levy of $ 1 million and a property tax of $ 4.2 million. Both had undergone five-year renewal cycles.
Maintaining these two property taxes will free up money and more will be available if income tax continues, he said.
There is currently approximately $ 22 million in the district deferral account.
“We have money that we cannot use. It doesn’t make sense, ”Geer said. “What we are doing is money that we cannot use.”
He said this week that the district has money tied up in its reserves because it relies on voters to support its tax demands every five years.
These reserves never had to be used because people recognized that current tax collections were essential to the continuation of the district’s operations, he said.
Geer said the board will have to decide how to use the funds now available, and that’s where financial adviser David Conley, of Rockmill Financial Consulting comes in.
The board will rely on Conley to help them navigate future economic considerations, Geer said.
The district pays Conley $ 50,000 per year for his services.
With a conversion of this income tax to a rolling term, the district would be able to spend this reserve money to expand student education services, invest in facilities and reduce debt balances, Conley previously said.
Conley predicted that the district won’t have to apply for new operating funds until 2024 at the earliest.
If the continuing income tax is approved, the first thing the board will do will be start planning how to use that money to improve education in Bowling Green schools, Geer said.
Geer, who is also running for re-election to the school board, said if the community feels the board is not doing what it should, they should express their displeasure this way and not punish the students by voting again. the tax.
The last time this income tax was presented to voters, in 2017, it was 74.96% approved.
There are two opportunities left in 2022 to get income tax approved before the $ 3.9 million collected is wasted, as the tax expires in December 2022.