Thank you for your support!
This is ONLY a renewal, and will not raise taxes. The 2.7-mill levy has been the same since 1988, with no tax rate increase.
Here are some facts and additional information:
- Great Oaks currently has an annual operating budget of about $64 million. Of that amount, about 66%, or $42 million, comes from a 2.7-mill operating levy. These are the ONLY local funds provided to Great Oaks. There is not another property tax levy. The remainder of the budget comes from state (30%) and federal (4%) funds. Learn more about Great Oaks finances and funding.
- Great Oaks has not asked for an increase in local funding in 30 years, and is not asking for an increase now—simply a continuing renewal at the current level. 2.7 mills was originally approved in 1988 and renewed at the same rate in 1998 and 2008. Great Oaks is fiscally responsible, and has been able to complete building renovations, hire and retain staff, and update sophisticated equipment without additional funding.
- Area homeowners pay $5.04/month per $100,000 in assessed value.
- Without this levy, Great Oaks would have lost over 60% of its funding—and would be unable to continue to operate. Affiliate school districts would be required to provide career-technical education programs individually, a much more expensive way to offer the service.
How much does the Great Oaks levy cost me?
Residents pay about $5/month or $60 per year for a $100,000 home. In most areas, the average home is about $200,000, so the cost of the levy would be $120/year.
What is Great Oaks’ budget?
The current budget is $64 million; this is an increase of only about ½ of 1% per year over the past 10 years, despite an increase in students.
How do we know that you won’t come back to voters and ask for more millage?
Great Oaks has lived within its means for 50 years. The current millage (2.7 mills) has been in place since 1988, and we’re only asking to renew the current levy, which is set to expire in 2019. We have been able to stay up-to-date with technology, building maintenance and renovations, student growth, and rising costs throughout that time—and our projections show that we will be able to continue to do so.
How do joint vocational school district (JVSD) expenses compare to traditional school district expenses?
JVSD, or career-technical, school districts like Great Oaks spend the majority of their budgets on such educational expenses as technology, materials, teachers, and classrooms. We also have busing and cafeteria costs, just like other school districts. However, hands-on career programs often require investments in additional equipment. For instance, students who are learning to program and operate robotic equipment must have access to up-to-date technology. The same is true with aviation maintenance students who must have aircraft engines to learn on, culinary students who study in a commercial kitchen, firefighting students who need to learn to handle the firefighting equipment they’ll use on the job, and so on.
That’s why Ohio created joint vocational school districts—so traditional school districts don’t have to make these investments. Instead, communities share the cost so that their students have a range of opportunities.
What about building renovations? How will you pay for those?
Great Oaks does not have bond issues so the district finances construction and renovations through the general fund. Since 2008, Great Oaks has renovated and updated two campuses—Scarlet Oaks and Diamond Oaks—and the remaining two campuses (Laurel Oaks and Live Oaks) will be updated after the levy renewal. In addition, Great Oaks was able to secure $1.5 million in state funding for Laurel Oaks building projects.