On March 17, 2020, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will ask the community for a new, additional tax levy of 7.9 mills, equating to approximately $8.8 million annually. This millage is due largely to the rapid, unsustainable expansion of EdChoice. If it were not for the way EdChoice was funded, the District would not be on the ballot until 2023, and the millage would be less.
Calculating the Cost of Issue 26
The language on the March 17 ballot reads as follows for Issue 26, the CH-UH operating levy:
"CLEVE HTS/UNIV HTS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Proposed Tax Levy (Additional)
An additional tax for the benefit of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District for the purpose of current expenses at a rate not exceeding 7.9 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to 79 cents for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a continuing period of time, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021."
In order to calculate the cost to a homeowner, it must be noted that the valuation a levy is paid on is not the market value, but rather the assessed or taxable value, which is 35% of market value.
As an example, if the market value of a home is $100,000, the assessed/taxable value is $35,000. Per the ballot language, one would divide the $35,000 by $100 and multiply that result by 79 cents. This equals approximately $23 per month.
What happens if it doesn't pass?
If the District does not pass a levy in 2020, we will face approximately $5 million in cuts, equivalent to 67 staff positions. While it's impossible to say at this moment exactly what those cuts will be, it's safe to assume that a broad range of programming is at risk of being affected - extracurricular activities, class sizes, AP class options, athletics, and more.