School levies see mixed election results


CLINTON COUNTY — Out of the three school levies on the Tuesday election ballot, only the Blanchester Local School District income tax levy passed after results came in for Clinton, Warren, Clermont, and Brown counties. According to unofficial results, 732 voted in favor of it, while 716 voted against it.

For the Blanchester additional levy results, 743 voted against it and 711 for it.

“I’m thankful for the ones who voted for the income tax levy but we still have work ahead of us,” said Blanchester Board of Education President John Panetta, adding this was not a permanent plan.

The levy is an annual income tax of 1 percent on earned income of residents of the district. It lasts five years beginning on Jan. 1, 2024. The BOE website says the purpose of it is for current expenses and general “ongoing permanent improvements.”

The second issue is “an additional tax for the purpose of permanent improvements, that the county auditor estimates will collect $1,073,860 annually, at a rate not exceeding 5.20 mills for each $1 of taxable value, which amounts to $182 for each $100,000 of the county auditor’s appraised value, for a period of five years, commencing in 2023, first due in calendar year 2024,” according to the BOE website.

As for the Wilmington City Schools proposed annual income tax, 1,919 (53.34%) voted against it, with 1,679 (46.66%) voting for it, according to unofficial results from the Clinton County Board of Elections.

The proposed annual income tax of .75% would’ve been on the incomes of individuals and estates in the district for five years “or the purpose of current expenses and general ongoing permanent improvements,” according to the Board of Elections (BOE) website.

Wilmington City Schools Superintendent Jim Brady released a statement to the News Journal in reaction to the levy’s failure.

“We are extremely disappointed that the hard work put in each day to improve our schools is not reflected in the results at the polls,” said Brady in his statement. “It’s unfortunate that reducing the 1 percent income tax to a 3/4 percent was not enough to get this levy passed.”

He added that while they’re at a “significant crossroads,” they’ll continue to focus on meeting the educational needs of the students.

“There are tough decisions that will need to be made as a result of the levy failure. We will keep the public informed as we move forward through the process,” he said.

He added they appreciate those who supported the levy, those who worked on the levy committee, and the school staff.

“We will continue to focus on providing an educational environment for the children of Wilmington while we decide the next steps,” he said.

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

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