NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The Niles City Schools board of education is urging taxpayers to vote in favor of the renewal levy as they head to the polls within the next few days.
Over the past year, the board has trimmed more than half a million dollars from the $24 million budget.
“We are doing our best to be the best stewards of their tax dollars we can. We have fulfilled every request the commission has given us. We could see last year where things were headed, we tried to be proactive in making what cuts we could,” said school board president Mary Ann McMahon.
The board approved a new five-year forecast during a special session meeting on Sunday.
The district’s oversight commission asked for new numbers this week. The district is projecting a deficit in 2022.
They said with that in mind, the renewal levy is more important than ever.
“It is crucial. Their students are the ones who are directly impacted by these tax dollars. Supplies, busing, instruction, we need those dollars to operate,” McMahon said.
The renewal tax is already on the books, one that the average taxpayer has been spending about $160 on per year.
“The new money has been defeated pretty heavily, 70% to 30% on average, so our biggest concern is that our taxpayers recognize the fact that this is not new money like we’ve asked for in the past three elections. This is a renewal. We’re all currently paying the taxes right now,” said superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen.
Without the levy, the district said they will have to make deep cuts. That could mean larger class sizes, fewer programs and cuts to busing.