Understanding School Funding
There are many misconceptions about Pickerington Schools district funding and growth. Here are some answers.
School District Property Taxes
All Pickerington Schools residents pay Pickerington Schools property taxes. It doesn’t matter what municipality, county, or township in which you live when it comes to school district property tax. If you live within the district’s boundaries, you pay Pickerington Schools property taxes. Those district residents who live in the City of Pickerington and Violet Township pay Pickerington Schools property taxes. So do the people who live in Reynoldsburg, Columbus, and Canal Winchester who live within the confines of the Pickerington Schools district.
All Pickerington Schools residents who live within the district during all or part of the year pay Pickerington Schools school district income tax (SDIT). It doesn’t matter if you own your home or rent, you pay SDIT. Again, those who live in the City of Pickerington and Violet Township pay SDIT. So do the people who live within the district’s boundaries in Reynoldsburg, Columbus, and Canal Winchester. The SDIT is 1 percent.
Control of Community Growth
Pickerington Schools is growing. We all know that. We anticipate adding about 1,000 additional students over the next five years. According to our Plan for Progress, we will need a new junior high school, another elementary school, another middle school, and additions to both of our high schools. With the purchase of the Yarmouth property, we will be able to move all of our preschool students out of the elementary schools. This will help us ease overcrowding in our elementary schools.
- Pickerington Schools cannot control student enrollment growth. We have no zoning authority or ability to assess impact fees on new housing developments. We must educate all of the students who live within the Pickerington Schools district boundaries.
About half of Pickerington Schools funding comes from property and school district income taxes. Every six years, the Fairfield County Auditor reappraises property values.
When property values increase, it does not mean that Pickerington Schools gets more money. In 1976, the Ohio Legislature enacted House Bill 920. The purpose of House Bill 920 was to keep inflation from increasing voted taxes. This means, if an operating levy is approved by voters and generates $5 million through a 5 mill levy, and property values go up, House Bill 920 does not allow a school district to receive any additional revenue from the levy on existing properties. All the district will ever get from the levy on existing properties is $5 million, and the effective tax rate the property owner pays actually goes down. A school district will get a slight and temporary bump in revenue from new properties, but this only happens in the year the house was built. The following year, the revenue collected goes back to what it originally was. This is why school districts have to keep going back to the voters for funding.
If you have any questions about taxes or any finance topic, please contact Treasurer John Walsh.