Stephen Bell Elementary
Stephen Bell Elementary

Grades K-2

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Bell Creek Intermediate
Bell Creek Intermediate

Grades 3-5

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Jake Andrew Chappars Memorial Play Place
Jake Andrew Chappars Memorial Play Place

Playground at Bell Creek Intermediate

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Stephen Bell Elementary
Stephen Bell Elementary

Grades K-2

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1/5

The proposed May 4 levy is for 4.9 mils, and would cost tax payers $14.29 per month per $100k of home value

The requested amount is slightly less than the amount asked for in the previous failed levies, and represents just enough additional funds to prevent further losses to school programs, with the possibility of bringing back K-5 STEM and some of the other lost supplemental (extra-curricular) positions.  Without the passage of this levy, further cuts will become inevitable.

How much last year's 5.7 Mil

Levies would have Cost The

District if they'd Passed.

We looked into how the tax increase would affect the whole community for two reasons. When we initially wrote this, the auditor's tax estimator had not been updated to include the 5.7 mil levy and we were not going estimate every home individually. (At present, it appears the tax estimator is down again. Keep checking the auditor's website to see if it's been returned.) Also, doing it this way, people can see how homeowners with different property values are affected by the cost of the levy. We also went further than the tax estimator and broke it down into the monthly cost, since most of us budget that way. 

 

We received a list of all properties in the BSS district, without personal information, from the Greene County Auditor. We then broke up the list of residential properties into 10% chunks, called percentiles. Think about it like a puzzle that has 10 pieces. The entire list is the whole puzzle and we broke it up into 10 puzzle pieces worth approximately 640 or so properties apiece. The final 10%, we broke down further because there was such a wide range of property values in that percentile that the data was clearer when looked at in smaller chunks.

Hopefully, you're still with us. The following is a breakdown of the chart we put together that has the actual monthly tax increases that would apply to each percentile. IT IS SUPER IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER that these percentiles are less than or equal to figures. The amounts in each percentile are the maximum for that percentile. The minimum amount for each percentile is $1 higher than the previous percentile.

  1. Row 1 establishes that there are no properties that have a value of $0 in this table. Easy Peasy!

  2. Row 2 is the lowest valued 10% of properties in the BSS district. 

  3. They range in price from $0 to $59,150.

  4. There are a total of 640 taxable properties in this percentile.

  5. For this percentile the assessed values of all 640 properties are $20,702.50 or less.

  6. To find out the cost of the proposed levy, you multiply the assessed value by the millage rate (5.7 divided by 1000). Using this math you find that the bottom 10% of property values in the BSS district will pay at maximum an additional $118 a year.

  7. The following column is the maximum amount per year someone who qualifies for the homestead exemption would have to pay. For this percentile, the property owners that qualify for the Homestead Exemption will pay anywhere from $0 to $68.12 a year instead of $0 to $118 a year.

  8. Then the yearly cost is broken down into monthly amounts for both folks paying the full tax. 

  9. And those paying the reduced homestead cost.

In putting this chart together, we learned that, for the 640 least expensive properties in the BSS district, the 5.7 mil levy would it only add, at most, $10 a month to the owner's budget. If the Homestead Exemption applies to that property owner, they would have a maximum of $5.68 added to their monthly bills. $10 is less than it costs to buy a full price movie ticket anymore. $5.68 is about what you'd spend at Starbucks for anything other than straight coffee. 

 

These comparisons are not to make light of the possible additional tax. Rather, they are meant to present the tax increase in a way that’s relatable, by comparing it to everyday things people spend money on. What we’ve discovered is that the bottom 20% of our community (those with homes appraised $118k or less) will pay at most $20 a month, which is just about the cost of Chipotle for 2 people without guacamole.  The bottom 30% of our community (those with homes appraised $138.4k or less) will pay at most $23.00 a month, which gets you guacamole with your Chipotle. Those in the bottom 40%, with properties less than or equal to $163,924, will owe no more than $27.25, the cost of a couple pizzas. 

 

We’re sure you can come up with many other examples, so we won’t go on. We just hope you keep this breakdown in mind when you see the levy represented in its total. What we’ve found is that the majority of the citizens in our community would pay less than $33 a month, and 70% of us would pay less than $50 a month for the proposed levy. If you only look at the full cost, the numbers seem overwhelming, but when you look at it this way it becomes much easier to determine whether it is something you can realistically fit into your budget.