Camille Hall looks over petitions for the May ballot at the Clark County Board of Elections Wednesday. Bill Lackey/Staff

Clark County voters to decide on multiple tax issues on May ballot

Clark County voters will go to the polls in May to decide on several new tax measures, both for cities and schools.

Springfield voters will be asked again whether they approve an income tax hike. The measure would increase taxes from 2 percent to 2.4 percent for 5.5 years. If approved, the tax would generate an additional $6.7 million annually. For a worker making $30,000 a year, the tax would cost an additional $9.75 per month.

RELATED: Springfield commission to vote to go back on ballot with tax increase

The city asked voters to approve the income tax increase in November but it was defeated.

Greenon residents will be asked to weigh a new bond for schools and the Enon police department will seek to raise taxes for the police department.

Voters in the Clark-Shawnee Local School district will be asked again to approve a bond to build a new elementary school and renovate Shawnee High School. Springfield residents will vote on whether or not to raise the local income tax.

Wednesday was the deadline to be on the May ballot. The final ballot will be released on May 13 after its certified by the Clark County Board of Elections.

READ MORE: Think your vote doesn’t matter? It does

Greenon schools hope taxpayers who own a $100,000 home in the district are willing to spend about $244 a year, or about $20 a month, for the 6.98-mill bond to build one K-12 school building. The tax is expected to last for 37 years.

District leaders have repeatedly said that Greenon’s aging buildings can’t best serve its students because of issues like electric infrastructure and heating and cooling problems.

“We have great teachers, great students and a supportive community — everything necessary to make a great public education system for students,” Greenon Local Schools Superintendent Brad Silvus said in a statement. “But too often, our aging facilities cause problems that disrupt the educational process, and the buildings work against that instead of providing support to enhance the opportunities at Greenon schools.”

DETAILS: Greenon leaders want to build one new school for all of district

Greenon Local Schools held multiple forums and meetings to discuss building new schools in 2016. Many people who attended meetings debated whether the district should build one K-12 school building for all students or two buildings.

Some who attended the meetings said that they wouldn’t voting for any levy that raised taxes.

Clark-Shawnee Local Schools will ask voters again to approve a 5.3-mill bond that would bring a new elementary school to the district and renovate the high school. Voters rejected the same plan in November, but school leaders said previously that the district had to act fast to ensure it would have another chance at using state money to help pay for the project.

“We have a limited opportunity to make sure our community benefits from the state share of 30 percent funding to address our aging facilities,” school board President David DeHart said in an email. “After hearing from community members in recent weeks that this is the right plan for the future of Clark-Shawnee Local Schools, the board felt it was important to give the community this opportunity to move forward with a plan developed based on the community’s preferences for schools facilities.”

Some who voiced opposition to the tax question said they believe the school district is asking again too quickly.

The tax would cost an owner with a $100,000 home about $183 a year, or about $15 a month. It would last for 37 years.

RELATED: Mad River, Enon officials concerned after police levies fail

The village of Enon is also asking voters again to approve a 5-mill levy that would go to the police department. The measure failed in November, but Enon Police Chief Lew Wilcox said he believed the community wasn’t voting against his department, but voting against tax increases in general.

He said the additional money that voters rejected then would have went to hiring more officers. He said the department could have hired up to four full-time officers, but can only hire two because of monetary restrictions. The tax would cost an owner of a $100,000 home $175 a year, or about $14 a month. It would be for five years.

The Champaign County Election Board said that it didn’t receive any ballot questions at deadline and no May election is expected.

Camille Hall looks over petitions for the May ballot at the Clark County Board of Elections Wednesday. Bill Lackey/Staff
Photo: Staff Writer

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