Clyde school income tax approved

CLYDE Clyde-Green Springs School District voters opened their wallets and approved a 1 percent earned income tax that will fu
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

CLYDE

Clyde-Green Springs School District voters opened their wallets and approved a 1 percent earned income tax that will fund new school buildings and renovate existing buildings.

In Sandusky and Seneca counties, 2,325 residents -- or 57 percent of those who cast a ballot on Tuesday -- voted to approve the tax with 1,744 voters, or 43 percent, rejecting it.

"That's pretty resounding," superintendent Todd Helms said. "In my 10 years, that's the biggest margin of victory we've ever had."

Residents will collectively be expected to pay more than $800,000 annually for the project, though the tax will only affect people who are actively working and will not affect retirees or the unemployed.

Helms said the next step is the design phase of the buildings, which will involve input from parents, teachers and district residents.

Construction on the new buildings could begin in Spring 2009, Helms said.

"Today, we changed the history of what Clyde-Green Springs has to offer," Helms said. "We just changed the history of what our kids will deal with for the next 50 years."

Residents will not have to pay the entire cost of the project.

The Ohio Schools Facility Commission will pay about $37 million, or 66 percent, of the $56 million project.

School district residents will pay the rest -- $18 million -- during the course of 23 years.

Residents should anticipate some additional project costs.

These costs will not be covered by the state and are expected to add about $3 million to the local share. The details are still being discussed, but could include land purchases.

Helms said the tax would target district residents and exclude people working within the district.

What does the tax pay for?

* Abandon/demolish Vine Street Elementary, McPherson Middle School and Green Springs Elementary

* New elementary school in Green Springs (pre-kindergarten through fifth grade)

* New middle school for grades 6-8

* South Main Elementary - renovations and addition of about 17,000 square feet

* Clyde High School - cafeteria expansion and auxiliary gym