After months of lobbying by members of the Kent City School District, voters approved a four-year, 8.9-mill operating levy on Tuesday.
The levy passed with 61 percent of voters for the proposal and 39 percent against.
“On behalf of school board and the committee members we want to thank all the people who supported the levy,” Superintendent Joseph Giancola said. “ It is all about the students, so they are the benefactors.”
The levy will generate $4.25 million per year, and cost a homeowner $272.56 per year for a house valued at $100,000.
Funds from the levy will go toward continuing the excellence of the program, Giancola said. Expanding safety and security in school buildings is also on the to-do list, including adding school resource officer in the district.
Cuts from state and federal government has put a strain on the district, Kent City Schools Superintendent Joseph Giancola.
The district has also dealt with cuts from local funding, including some from the downtown redevelopment project.
Some of the new developments, such as the Acorn Alleys and Acorn Corner, received an automatic 10-year tax abatement in the developer’s contract, which means they are exempt from paying property taxes for 10 years.
The other developments, such as the transit bus station and Esplanade expansion, which are owned by Kent State, are public entities and are not required by law to pay property taxes. The other properties such as the hotel and conference center, the Davey Tree and Ametex buildings, which own the corner property on DePeyster and Main Streets, are on a tax increment financing, or TIF, system.
The district was last on the ballot in 2006 when voters approved a 6.9-mill continuing levy, but according to Kent City Schools officials, the funding has been stretched for an additional three years.
Giancola said the district has saved $4.5 million annually with the help of the faculty and staff focusing on energy saving and limiting equipment used.