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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Fact Vs Fiction

We know there's a lot of information on this page to sort through. So we've compiled a list of the most common misconceptions and their simple answers here. For in-depth explanations, follow the link to the correct section of the website. If there's something missing or something you'd like to see added, send us a private message on the FB page or email us at contact@citizensforsugarcreekschools.org. We will not add topics here until the full section has been completed since it is our goal to ensure that you are aware of our sources, rather than to be believed outright.

  • Fiction: "My property taxes are based on how much my house is worth!"

    • Fact: Nope. They're based on 35% of how much your house is worth.

  • Fiction: "5.7mil levy, that's a lot of money!"

    • Fact: When talking about a levy, 'mil' means millage, not million.

  • Fiction: "A 7.5mil replacement levy is SO high!"

    • Fact: Not as high as you think. A replacement levy takes away an old levy, so you have to subtract out how the the old levy is worth to find how much the replacement levy is actually going to cost.

 

  • Fiction: "The school can't possibly be out of money, we just voted for a levy four years ago!"

    • Fact: Levies are, for lack of a better word, 'fixed' so that they do not increase with inflation. Without additional income, as prices go up, schools can afford less.

 

  • Fiction: "The schools are mismanaging their money and that's why they need another levy."

    • Fact: House Bill 920 is what 'fixes' levies. It was enacted in 1976. There have been reoccurring levies on every ballot since then. 43 years of the same process in every Ohio city, for every kind of levy, is not mismanagement unless you're talking about the state's involvement.

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  • Fiction: "There's no financial aide available to help those on low or fixed incomes."

    • Fact: The Homestead Exemption takes $25,000 off of a property's appraised value before calculating taxes on it if an owner qualifies.​

 

  • Fiction: "Bellbrook-Sugarcreek's taxes are high enough to scare homebuyers away!"

    • Fact: Bellbrook and Sugarcreek have moderately high property taxes but lower overall taxes than many of the surrounding suburban areas. Also, despite having some of the highest property millage in Greene county the area continues to see rapid population growth.

  • Opinion: "This levy is too expensive."

    • An opinion, is by its nature, is not right or wrong. So instead we offer an alternative view to consider. 50% of property owners in Bellbrook-Sugarcreek have properties valued less than $200,000. The 5.7mil levy would require budgeting for $33.20 or less a month for this half of the community.

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  • Fiction: "The school will get more money from the levy after the reassessment!"

    • Fact: Nope. The school will get a 1-2% budget increase from inside millage, but even if an individual's taxes go up or down, the school will get the same amount from the levy after the reassessment than it did before.

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  • Fiction: "The school gets a lot of money from new developments."

    • Fact: On average new development accounts for around 2% of the school's annual budget but the overall financial benefit to the school from the development will be determined after the additional expense of new students is factored in.

  • Fiction: "Bellbrook Sugarcreek Schools needs to trim all the fat out of their budget."

    • Fact: The state auditor, a neutral third party, looked over the school's budget and found so little to 'trim' that they included three options that "could drastically change the service levels in the district" in order to reduce the budget enough to stay in the red without a levy being passed.

  • Fiction: "BSS pays its teachers too much."

    • Fact: "While this option would address a significant portion of the remaining deficit, it should be noted that BSLSD staff are generally paid less over their careers than staff in local peer districts with similar experience and job functions. This may make a multi-year salary freeze difficult to institute. The District would need to consider the rammifications of an indefinite pay freeze in relation to the ability to maintain qualified, tenured staff in the local job market." - the state auditor, page 24

  • Fiction: "Superintendent Cozad should lead by example and take a pay cut."

    • Fact: He legally can't. Administrative staff can only have their salaries reduced if all other staff is getting a salary reduction. Ohio Revised Code 3319.01 and 3319.02.

 

  • Fiction: "Teachers get a pension and social security."

    • Fact: Public pensions do not work the same way private pensions do. A person with a public pension does not get social security, with only two, reduced, exceptions.

  • Fiction: "The school administration decides how much retirement staff gets."

    • Fact: Public employee retirement is entirely mandated at the state level. The local administration has nothing to do with it.

 

  • Fiction: "The school employees have a Roles Royce benefits package!"

    • Fact: If we're using car analogies, it's really more of a Honda Civic. Pretty common, dependable, functional, practical, not super cheap, not super expensive, and nice but not extravagant.

 

  • Fiction: "No one's trying to solve the problem at a state level!"

    • Fact: People have been trying to get the State of Ohio to better fund education for at least 30 years. And they're still trying. The Cupp-Patterson Bill is the most frequent attempt to increase the state's financial investment in education.