Citizens for Quality

Piqua Schools

FAQ

Piqua City Schools Permanent Improvement Levy FAQs:


Will my taxes go up with the passage of this levy?

No.  Piqua City Schools refinanced the Piqua Junior High School Bond Issue allowing it to be paid off early and save taxpayers $865,034.38 while also eliminating 2.2 mills of taxes.  As a result, the passage of this levy will collect 3 mills for permanent improvements of district facilities and grounds while still reducing taxes for property owners by 1 mill.


 

When will I see a reduction in my taxes?

Property owners can expect to see a reduction in their school taxes February of 2020 when the Piqua Junior High School is paid in full.  The district is seeking approval of the 1.8 mills already in place for the Permanent Improvement levy and an additional 1.2 mills to complete necessary facilities and grounds updates to our oldest buildings.  Passage of this Permanent Improvement levy will not result in an increase in taxes, however, because collection on the new levy will begin after the Piqua Junior High School is paid for.  Therefore, property owners will actually see a 1 mill tax reduction beginning in February 2020 rather than an increase.

 
 

Will the passage of this levy provide more safety for the district’s students and staff?

Yes.  The district has worked hard to provide much needed and timely safety measures already because this work takes great priority!  However, there are additional safety measures that are needed to maximize the safety of our students and staff.  

 
 

Is a ‘mill’ worth a million dollars?

No.  The unit of value for expressing the rate of property taxes in Ohio is the “mill.” A mill is defined as one-tenth of a percent or one-tenth of a cent (0.1 cents) in cash terms. In the case of this proposed levy, it would generate $109.50 a year for a median house value in Piqua of $100,000.00.  That equals just 30¢ a day.

 

How are school districts financed?

School districts in Ohio are financed by a combination of federal, state and local funds. At the local level, school districts receive funding from locally levied property taxes and/or income taxes approved by voters.

 
 

What happens if the levy fails?

The community entrusts the district to provide safe learning environments and properly maintain our community’s investments in the facilities and grounds used by our students.  After having the Piqua High School and Piqua Junior School buildings assessed, we were able to generate a list of basic needs and improvements. We have completed as much of this work that we can already, but have reached a point where additional funding is necessary to complete this list.  Failure of this levy would result in a lack of funds for us to do this important work. Additionally, some of the issues we are facing will get worse and cost more money to fix and result in bigger problems the longer we wait.

 

Is the district staying on budget and conserving money?

Yes.  The board and district work very hard to live within our means and stay on budget so we can save taxpayers money when possible.  2019 marks the eleventh year that the district has operated ‘in the black.’ We know we cannot do this without the community’s support so we work hard conserve funds and save money for our taxpayers. Examples of recent savings and reductions in our spending include:

  • Honeywell Energy Savings Project ($3,027,255 over 15 years)

  • Energy Demand Rebates ($17,676.27 over 5 years)

  • Premier Health Partnership ($775,000.00 over 5 years)

  • Board Office Downsizing/Relocation ($100,000.00 est. annually)

  • Refinancing PJHS Bond Issue ($865,034.38 savings and elimination of 2.2 mills)

  • EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant for buses ($178,258.15)

  • Lundgard Foundation Grant to fix PHS stage flooring ($35,000.00)


What will money generated by this levy be spent on?

Funds collected from this levy will be used primarily to provide much needed improvements on our oldest facilities (PHS, PJHS, Alexander Stadium).  These needs were identified after having an assessment done on these buildings. The improvements are basic and in many cases necessary to prevent larger, more costly, problems later on.  A complete list of targeted projects can be found on the Citizens for Quality Piqua Schools levy website.

 

When will improvement work begin on the district’s aging buildings?

Passage of this levy will allow the district to engage in this important work soon after.  Requests for bids for the improvements will begin and contractors will be lined up as available to complete this needed work at times when it can be effectively done around building operations and student learning.

 

Will the district use local workers for this work?

The district secures a minimum of three bids when possible for all work that needs to be done.  This allows district officials to secure the best pricing, products, work output, timeline, warranty, and final product that is best for taxpayers and the district.  We encourage all local contractors to bid on district projects and greatly appreciate the support and work they do on behalf of the district year-round.

 
 

How will we know when improvement work is being done?

The district will include a list of targeted projects on the district website.  Updates will be provided in terms of work that is needed, in progress and/or completed.

 
 

Why is the district doing this work now?

First and foremost, the district would like to provide needed improvements now so problems don’t get bigger and cost more later. We appreciate that the community trusts us to properly maintain our facilities and grounds and take this work seriously.  While doing a study for the new elementary buildings, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission recommended a new high school in place of the current building.  We have absolutely no intention of building a new high school.  The current building can serve our students and community very well for many years to come with some important improvements.

 

Finally, In 2016, Citizens for Quality Piqua Schools consulted with Fallon Research & Communications, Inc. to engage Piqua residents in a random phone survey to provide community feedback to the district. The results revealed that 80.8% of those polled felt that the Piqua High School and Piqua Junior High School should be updated.  The poll also indicated that conserving money and reducing taxes was a top priority. The timing was right to refinance the Piqua Junior High School Bond Issue and pay it off early - saving money and eliminating 2.2 mills of school taxes. 

 

With the community’s continued support, we will work diligently to provide important, basic, quality maintenance updates while conserving funds.

 
 

Will this tax make my rent increase?

No.  Since the district is paying off the Piqua Junior High School Bond Issue early and eliminating 2.2 mills, passage of this levy will still provide a 1 mill reduction in property taxes.  Therefore, any increase in rent that may occur will not be a result of the passage of this levy.

 
 

Where do I get answers to other questions that I may have?

The district takes this work seriously and greatly appreciates the support we get from Piqua citizens!  We appreciate the opportunity to answer questions and provide facts surrounding this levy. If you have further questions, you may contact any of the following individuals:


Dwayne Thompson

Superintendent

thompsond@piqua.org

937-773-4321


Jeremie Hittle

Treasurer

hittlej@piqua.org

937-773-4321


Andy Hite

Board President

ahite@woh.rr.com  


Thank you!


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