School revenues remain stagnant despite rise in local property values
Message from: Superintendent James Sotlar
School funding is a complex and often times confusing system. Yet among the many pieces that create this challenging puzzle is the value of property within the district. Soon, all Franklin County residents will receive updates regarding the value of their property. This is part of the Franklin County Auditor’s 2017 reappraisal process. This process is designed to determine the value of property to ensure that every resident is receiving fair compensation and taxation rates based upon changes to the area.
In Canal Winchester, property values have gone up on average by about 14.9 percent. While this provides great news for residents who are interested in selling property in the area, many residents want to know are my taxes going up by 14.9 percent and does this mean that the local school district receives some kind of financial windfall from this process? The answer to both questions is no.
In 1976 the state legislature passed House Bill (HB) 920. This law protects homeowners from getting hit with large tax increases by limiting inflationary growth on taxes. So on average area residents will only see a two percent increase on their tax bill even though their home values may be increasing by a larger percentage.
In addition to protecting homeowners, this bill prohibits school districts from collecting additional revenue from increases in property values. So unless local voters approve new tax issues, local revenue for schools remains relatively stagnant. One exception to HB 920 is something called “inside millage” which is 10 mills in Canal Winchester. This is the only portion of the tax rate that is allowed by law to increase or decrease based upon changes in property valuations.
School funding and tax rates are complex. Yet Canal Winchester Local Schools is very simple in our approach to ensuring a great value for our residents. We manage taxpayer dollars in an efficient manner and live within our means as we operate a lean budget. Residents receive an excellent return on their investment with great schools that provide a high-quality education.
Strong schools and strong communities go hand in hand. Canal Winchester remains a great place to live and raise a family. I’m proud that our great schools are a major part of that success. If you have any questions regarding how our school finances work, please feel free to contact the district at 614 837-4533.