CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — Voters in the Cortland area have decided against an additional levy that would have generated more money for the Lakeview Local School District‘s operating expenses, according to unofficial returns.

School district officials were seeking a 10-year, 4.9 mills emergency additional levy to bring in more money.

Two previous levies failed in 2022 (10-year, 6.8 mills in May; 10-year, 5.8 mills in November), meaning the district hasn’t had any new funding for operating expenses since 2010.

“The district is in deep financial difficulties,” said Superintendent Velina Taylor. “We’ll have to come up with a plan for how to save some more money, make some reductions, but more importantly — work harder to get our message out.”

The levy on this November’s ballot would have generated $1,515,800 per year for the district. It would have cost the owner of a home appraised at $100,000 an extra $172 per year.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion around the reappraisals, how much things will cost, and having it land shortly before the election just made it really difficult to get the information we needed in order to be as honest and forthright as we could be,” Taylor said. “I don’t blame anybody for not voting for something if they don’t really understand what it’ll cost them.”

The funds generated from the levy would allow the district to get rid of some fees put into place, as well as protect the programs still intact after cuts were made to save money in the past. According to Treasurer Sean Miller, more money would present the opportunity to increase teachers’ salaries to compete with other districts’ wages.