WILMINGTON — The Wilmington City Schools’ (WCS) 1-percent income tax generates 15 percent of the district’s operating budget.
In place since January 2003, the school district’s income tax will be on Tuesday’s primary election ballot where a five-year levy renewal is proposed to district voters.
District officials emphasize it is a renewal levy, and accordingly taxes for residents of the school district will not increase due to the levy.
“This is operating money, not extra money. We will continue to wisely spend it,” WCS Superintendent Ron Sexton said.
“We work very hard in saving as much money as we can,” added Sexton.
Multiple people are involved in the spending process prior to WCS spending money, said the superintendent. Board of Education subcommittee meetings are held to go over the budget, and before funds are spent, the district’s treasurer, business director, curriculum director and superintendent sign off on the expenditures, Sexton said.
Treasurer Kim DeWeese said Social Security income benefits are not subject to the school income tax.
Sexton regards the income tax as fairer than additional property tax, especially when the amount of agricultural land in the WCS district is considered.
In relation to property tax, the WCS millage is 27.3 compared to a state of Ohio average of 49.74, according to a fact sheet the district distributed.
As a result of no new property taxes, Wilmington schools collect almost $2,000 less per student on property tax compared to the average in Ohio, the fact sheet states.
The school district spends two-thirds of every dollar on classroom instruction in the form of salaries, resources and supplies, indicates the sheet. The remaining third goes toward operations such as transportation, building maintenance, service staff, utilities and more.
There are more students per administrator at Wilmington schools than the average throughout Ohio, according to the fact sheet. WCS averages 187 pupils per administrator compared to 152 students per administrator statewide.
“We believe we’re being good stewards of money,” the superintendent said.
Voters in the district have approved the schools’ 1 percent income tax three times.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.