Plan Could Affect Ohio School Levies

It is becoming more and more difficult for school officials to convince Ohio voters to accept property tax levies. Last August, just 10 or the 26 school issues on Buckeye State ballots were approved.

Action being considered by some state legislators could make the task even tougher.

Under a complex property tax “rollback” procedure, the state in effect covers about 12.5 percent of the cost to taxpayers of new school levies. A section in one state budget proposal would erase that break, starting next year.

Proponents of the idea say it is needed to provide enough money to give Ohioans a general income tax cut.

But the change would have the effect of making local school levies slightly more expensive for property owners. Loss of the break undoubtedly would adversely affect the chances of passing school levies.

State officials already have made substantial cuts in support of local schools. It would not be prudent to add to that a new difficulty in raising local money for education. Lawmakers should reconsider the plan and find some other way of funding the income tax cut.