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Cincinnati School Board Sends 10-Year Tax Renewal To November Ballot

Ambriehl Crutchfield
Cincinnati's Education Center.

Updated: November 1, 2019

Back in May, the Cincinnati Public School board voted unanimously to place a 10-year tax levy renewal on this November's ballot. The levy would bring in $65 million each year, which is 10% of the school district's budget.

Board members extended the levy's cycle for five years because of past voter support. Board members say the levy will not increase residents' taxes.

"We are looking more long term at where this district needs to be, being one of the fastest-growing districts in Ohio," CPS' Board Vice President Ryan Messer says. "So, we have to plan for that."

According to the Ohio Department of Education District Report Card, CPS' enrollment saw an increase of over 4,462 students since 2013. CPS says 69% of students who reside in its 91-square mile district attend one of its 63 schools.

CPS' Board Treasurer Jennifer Wagner says budget uncertainty makes it harder to create a strategic plan.

"Keep in mind that property taxes don't grow with enrollment," she says. "It makes it a little bit harder to support new growth."

Wagner says having a 10-year plan will allow voters to hold the board accountable and the board the opportunity to implement innovative ideas.

In August, CPS expanded Gamble Montessori High School in Westwood, which is moved into the former site of Mercy High School. It also opened the Clifton Area Neighborhood School and Gamble Montessori Elementary School. 

This story first appeared on May 15, 2019 and has been updated.