Letters to the editor
Published: April 19, 2017 12:00 AM
Says schools 'have never beenin better financial condition'
As a good citizen, I have studied school finance for the past 22 years. As a retired CPA, it looks to me like the Twinsburg schools have never been in better financial condition.
Yet, now they want more. Threats by school officials to cut programs if a levy fails is Scare Tactics 101 in the levy passage playbook. Threats of a state takeover is standard Scare Tactic 102.
With what I've found to be a record $31.2 million in surplus cash reserves last June 30, money is just rolling in. In recent years, there has been a large, visible increase in both residential and commercial construction in the area. This is greatly increasing their real estate tax base.
Another source of funds is their capital improvement fund, where a separate tax brings in about $2 million a year. This money is supposed to be used for larger building and grounds repairs. Surprisingly, they also use it to pay for regular textbooks. This is so the general fund can be saved primarily to pay ever-rising employee salaries and benefits.
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In recent years, funding from Ohio has been fairly stable. The basic reason the schools say they need more taxes is that their 5-year forecast shows a decline in future local revenues.
What I believe this half-truth fails to disclose is the forecast shows no revenue from the three renewal levies that bring in $13.6 million annually, after each one is up for renewal. Including the revenues from these virtually automatic renewals, they will likely have tens of millions more than the forecast shows.
Issue 15 on May 2 would be a huge 25 percent increase in school taxes forever. Tell them "no more" on this apparent rip-off by insatiable school officials.
Jerry Polster, Twinsburg
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Anka Apr 24, 2017 4:48 PM
SENIOR CITIZENS, VETERANS, VERSUS SCHOOL TAX LEVY
I am a 70 year old senior who graduated from R.B. Chamberlin High School in 1964. I feel rather insulted by the rhetoric of the phenomenal education that students receive today in this same school system. Does that suggest that we had less qualified instructors and received less education? We learned everything taught today and then some. The praises suggest that the school already accomplishes its goals. We went on to continue education as well as enter the military to defend this country. The senior and veteran population is on limited income and have had to cut back on living expenses. We cannot afford tax increases. I’ve had to discontinue my internet provider, downsize my cable, apply for every homestead available and still I must continue to work to make ends meet. There are many seniors who are widows, widowers or veterans who have no spouse for supplemental income. We are struggling to make it in this world and economy. The school system currently has $31+ million in surplus but they want more. Nothing is ever enough. I suggest reevaluating salaries, freezing payroll increases, and eliminating positions that are not imperative to education. They should also reassess the bus system which transports ½ empty buses. I worked in Aerospace on the Space Shuttle program after attending a modest Twinsburg school system. Letters praising the school system and passage of this Levy written by individuals who don’t live here and won’t experience the tax increase are irrelevant. A declining school population seems to imply that a Levy is completely unnecessary. Seniors have learned the meaning of sacrifice which this school system must learn now. Please show up at the polls May 2 and vote “NO”.