Jun. 14—JEFFERSON — Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas recently shared information to taxpayers in the Grand Valley School District who will be receiving tax bills this month. Property owners saw slight increases in their second half tax bills this year due to changes in classification of funding by the state.
"This change for the second half is not a tax increase compared with previous years and is not the fault of the school district or library," Thomas said. "Neither will have received more money from this adjustment compared to previous year."
In Ohio, schools are guaranteed a minimum revenue of 20 mills from their districts if levies are not above that floor of millage. Grand Valley Schools has not had a new current expense levy in almost 30 years, the district has for some time been at the 20-mill floor.
In 2013, the Grand Valley Public Library placed a levy on the ballot through its taxing authority of the Grand Valley School District. Since that time, the state auditor and state tax department have differed on how the levy and revenue should be treated regarding the school's revenue and 20-mill floor minimum.
For the first half tax bill calculation in 2021, the library levy revenue was included in the school district's 20 mill floor calculation which put the school above their minimum causing a loss of revenue. At the direction of the Department of Taxation and with the approval of the State Auditor's Office, Thomas moved the Grand Valley Public Library revenue out of the 20 mill-revenue calculation.
"The state allowed us to return to how our office has normally calculated the school floor, so this second half tax bill adjustment brings folks' tax rates back to a normal year and makes the school whole," Thomas said.
As a result, the Auditor's Office calculated a .79-mill difference that is added to the second half tax bills of property owners. This revenue was received by the school prior to this year and will be continued to be collected following the collection for 2021.
"If folks paid just the first half, their second half will be a little higher than the first," he said. "If they paid the year in full, then they'll receive a bill for just this adjustment."
The Auditor's Office has a full summary and explanation of the situation on their website for residents who would like to learn more in addition to those who would like to speak with Thomas at email@example.com or 440-576-3785.