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4 local districts seek new money

Special election Tuesday for some Clark, Champaign schools.

Four school districts in Clark and Champaign counties will learn if voters approved or rejected the new money they’ve requested for a variety of reasons after polls close Tuesday night.

Polls for the Aug. 6 special election will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Clark-Shawnee, Northeastern and Tecumseh local school districts in Clark County are each seeking a different outcome of the same levies voters rejected previously. West Liberty-Salem is on the ballot before voters in Champaign and Logan counties for an issue that would renovate and expand buildings.

• Clark-Shawnee: The 10-year, 7.95-mill levy property tax levy would generate nearly $2.5 million per year to avoid an operating deficit. If approved, the tax would cost the owner of a $100,000 home nearly $266 per year, according to the county auditor’s office. It was rejected in May by six votes.

• Tecumseh: It’s seeking a 12.37-mill, 5-year property tax levy that would generate about $3.5 million for “emergency requirements.” It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home nearly $433 a year, according to the county auditor’s office. The district faces a state takeover if the levy isn’t approved by 2014. It was rejected in May by 84 votes.

• Northeastern: A 1 percent earned income tax on currently-employed residents would generate an estimated $4 million annually. It was rejected in November by 2,385 votes.

Clark County Board of Elections Director Matthew Tlachac expects turnout to be similar to the approximately 18 percent who turned out in May.

In early absentee voting, his office received about 800 requests and received back 694 so far, he said. About half of those absentee requests were made in office with the remaining being mailed out, he said.

West Liberty-Salem Local School District in Champaign County is seeking approval of a combined 0.25 percent, 23-year income tax to generate revenues for current expenses and a 3.62-mill bond issue to help pay for renovations and additions to the existing school building.

The bond issue would repay more than $7.5 million over 27 years. The building project will cost about $33 million with the state picking up about 71 percent.

Combined, they would bring in about $11 million annually, costing the average voter in the school district an additional $254 a year — about $140 in property taxes and $114 in income taxes.

Last November, voters rejected a proposed 7.55-mill levy by 194 votes, which would have covered the cost of the project.

The Champaign County Board of Elections expects a very low turnout on election day and have seen only 48 early voting ballots cast since it began July 2, said Deputy Directory Meredith L. Body.

“West-Liberty was doing a phone drive, so that might stir some (voters) up,” she said.

Tlachac reminded candidates and tax districts seeking to file issues for the Nov. 5 ballot that the deadline is Wednesday, 90 days before the election per state law. In Clark County, the exception to that is New Carlisle, which must file 60 days in advance, per its city charter, he said.

Boards of elections will begin the certification process Aug. 19. Full election calendars are available on county boards of elections websites.

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