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Treasurer Thorpe on Inside Millage and the Permanent Improvement fund
Monday, February 14, 2011 4:47:11 PM - Monroe Ohio

Hornet Stadium may receive Permanent Improvement Funds (Photo by Bob Carroll)

By John Beagle

Today I had a conversation about the public hearing on Inside Millage and the Permanent Improvement Fund with Monroe Local Schools Treasurer, Kelley Thorpe.

Beagle: Can you tell me more about the Inside Millage and the Permanent improvement fund?
Kelley Thorpe: Monroe does not currently have any regular source of income for a permanent improvement (PI) und. PI monies can be used to pay for anything with a 5-year or longer life or can be used to pay down debt. This means that PI money can be used to buy textbooks, computers, equipment, and to make permanent repairs on our facilities, such as paving or roofing repairs. Without a PI fund, these expenses have to come out of our general fund expenses.

Every landowner has to pay at least 10 mills of property tax – this is the inside millage. Most of us pay more than 10 due to the various levies that have been approved over the years. Monroe currently receives 5.16 mills of inside millage for general fund expenses. The county has to give us that 5.16 mills for our general fund. If we move part of those 5.16 mills to PI, then the county still has to give us the 5.16 mills for our general fund. The number of mills that we move to PI then generates additional money to fund a PI fund. Inside mills are part of a district’s 20-mill floor calculation.

If a district is above the 20-mill floor (like Monroe is right now), then due to roll-backs, part of the inside millage can be moved without causing a tax increase for the homeowner. The homeowner’s tax bill would be rolled back to the 20 mill floor without any increase in taxes. Once property taxes increase to the point that the tax bill would have to roll back past the 20-mill mark, then the taxes would be adjusted to increase the taxes to 20 mills again. This is where the tax increase due to moving the millage could occur. Monroe is currently at 21.03 mills – 5.16 of these mills are inside mills, the other 15.87 mills are the rolled-back millages from various operating levies.

Beagle: How much additional tax on a $100K home, for example?
Kelley Thorpe: At this time, I don’t know exactly how many mills the board is thinking about moving. Anything over 1.03 mills would be a tax increase. Anything under 1.03 would not be any additional taxes for homeowners. If property values continue to stay stagnate or drop, there still would not be a tax increase. The only tax increase would occur if property taxes increased to the point that Monroe would drop below the 20-mill floor.

Beagle: How much income will it bring to the schools?
Thorpe: Moving 1.0 mills would generate a little over $300,000 a year for our PI fund.

Beagle: I know the schools and cities will all be in a huge financial mess over the next few years. Certainly there is a need for additional funding. How do you feel about this approach vs putting something on the ballot?
Thorpe: The law clearly allows for this option because schools needed another option besides going to the voters every few years. This could be a good option that will keep Monroe off the ballot in the near future.

Other related articles:


1/18/2011 Monroe Schools Facing Unknown Large Deficit
1/11/2010 Last Chance for Monroe School Bonds
7/22/2009 Monroe School Subsitute Tax Levy on November Ballot
2/18/2009 Monroe Local School Substitute Levy is Not a Tax Increase
2/15/2008 A Monroe Levy Discussion with School Treasurer Kelley Thorpe
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