Hidden costs lurk in Wooster school levy

Hidden costs lurk in Wooster school levy

Letter to the Editor,

As a taxpayer I say vote no on the upcoming Wooster schools levy. Extra costs are lurking in the levy.

Hiding the cost of an entire school building behind phase one — this is already a $100 million dollar bond, and it only covers phase one. The district’s facilities master plan will need to buy a second new elementary school building, even after this levy. Once we are locked into this plan, will our schools be held hostage until we approve the rest of the master plan tax hike?

Wooster City Schools makes it seem on its FAQ website that Ohio will cover a third of the planned building costs. I have been told in the school’s own information meetings this may not cover all of the stated one-third of the cost; it may not pay out at all. This is rolling dice with community money and calling it an “opportunity.”

Hiding the tax increase in $16.70 per month — my number is a slightly smaller $15.32 because my house isn’t that grand. But this is a 36-year bond levy, so multiply those months by 432 times.

But how big of a tax hike is this really? By going to the Wayne County Auditor’s website and plugging in my address, I found how much I pay in school tax now and how much I would pay if the levy passes. This levy would increase the school portion of my taxes by almost 17%. My friend’s elderly parents would face an increase closer to 20%. This is already a large tax increase, no matter what number tricks are used to downplay it.

This is just for phase one. What happens when any of this doesn’t go according to plan? What happens when construction costs overrun? What happens if state funding evaporates? How much more are we on the hook for?

I will vote no until I see a bond issue that doesn’t feel like it is hiding costs from me.

Ted Hill


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