Property owners can’t keep footing school bills

Property owners can’t keep footing school bills

Letter to the Editor,

Attention property owners in the Wooster City School District. The Wooster City Board of Education has determined they need to raise your property taxes by 6.7 mills for the next 36 years so they can put in place “phase one” of their “master plan” at a cost of $102 million. According to information attained from the Wayne County Auditor’s Office, taxpayers in the WCSD already pay at least 20 mills more than every other district in the county.

In the Nov. 22, 2022 edition of The Wooster Daily Record, the board advertised for a construction manager at risk to oversee the demolition of Cornerstone, Kean, Melrose and Parkview elementary schools and Edgewood Middle School.

Replacing these currently in-use educational facilities will be a new pre-k through second grade elementary school, a new grades 3-5 elementary school, a new grades 6-8 middle school and renovations to the high school. The new middle school also will have a stadium and track built to serve sports.

All of this will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $19.60 a month for the next 432 months. Nearby the high school, new “starter homes” listing at $300,000-$450,000 are being built. The median price of the 229 homes sold in Wooster for the year 2022 was $234,000.

Presently, there are 85 tax abatements for various entities in place that the WCSB has rubber stamped. As property owners in the district for over three decades, my wife and I have never received any discount on our property taxes.

In 1997 the Ohio State Supreme Court ruled (DeRolph vs State) the state’s method for funding education was unconstitutional and too reliant on property taxes, thus discriminating against the poorer districts. This ruling has been upheld multiple times, yet 26 years later, the legislature continues to allow property owners to be unfairly punished by their unwillingness to act.

For retirees on fixed incomes, owning real estate in the district is becoming a near impossibility. Make your voices heard on May 2 to prevent this unfair attack on property owners from going any further.

Alan Poulson


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