DELPHOS — Voters in the Delphos school district will likely be voting on a 0.5% income tax on the March 17, 2020, ballot.
On Monday night, the Delphos school board took the initial step in getting the issue on the ballot.
“The first resolution is to ask the Ohio Department of Taxation what the levy will generate,” said Brad Rostorfer, district treasurer.
The school district hasn’t asked for new money in the past 15 years.
“We ended the previous year at $379,000 after deficit spending to the tune of $600,000 plus. We have taken many cost savings steps along the way this year, but it will take new money to truly solve the problem without impacting education,” Rostorfer said.
Superintendent Doug Westrick added, “What we’ve tried to do our last couple years is when teachers move on for other reasons that if we can absorb the position, we will. Case in point this summer, we lost two teachers, and we just absorbed those positions and those responsibilities where we could. We reviewed all our custodial purchases; we’ve consolidated those. We went with one provider and started to place our purchases quarterly, if not half a year, and buy the same products from the same companies instead of the way that it’s been done in the past.”
Delphos schools moved some students from Landeck Elementary, saving the district $80,000. They are also looking to sell their administration building and move to space inside Delphos Jefferson High School.
The input of the community played a part in going for an income tax rather than a property tax levy.
“Obviously, we’re a farming community, and so the property tax would hit them quite a bit harder than an income tax,” Rostorfer said.
The school board faces a Dec. 18 deadline to get everything in order for the issue to be on the March 2020 ballot.
The hard work remains in getting voters convinced to open their pocketbooks to support the district.
“We’ve started with a levy focus group, and we really have presented to people in the community first and then get some feedback there, and now we’re starting to put literature out,” Westrick said. “We had some information posted to our website, some frequently asked questions, and we’ll be continuing to put information out via media. Soon we’ll be starting to have public meetings, meeting in small groups and just trying to meet people where they’re at.”