MOUNT VERNON — The Ohio Supreme Court, in 1997, found Ohio’s system of funding primary and secondary schools to be unconstitutional, in part because it relies heavily on local property taxes. Property owners continue to protest against property tax increases by rejecting school levies and people are looking at alternative ways to support schools.
A countywide sales tax is one option which has been successfully implemented in Medina County. The 0.5 percent sales tax passed on the first try in May 2007 and the county started collecting it in October the same year. The money is earmarked for permanent improvements to the nine major school districts within the county and funds collected are distributed by the Medina County Community Improvements Board based on the average daily enrollment figures. In 2010, that amounted to roughly $322 per student. The money may not be used for daily operating expenses.
Medina County Auditor Mike Kovak said four of the Medina County school districts had capital improvement levies in effect when the sales tax levy passed. Two, Brunswick and Wadsworth, removed theirs as soon as the sales tax passed, Medina allowed theirs to expire this year, and Cloverleaf’s permanent improvement levy is still in effect.
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