UL Schools

Dear Editor,

For years and years, we have all heard our elected leaders talk about the importance of education and the need for adequate funding. Yet, they continue to do virtually nothing to ensure adequate funding for schools. At the same time schools need to be able to continue to operate to educate our children.

The Union Local School District and Board of Education fully recognize the years of support they have received from property owners in the form of school property taxes. We appreciate that support and we feel we offer a quality educational program in a safe and positive environment. Are we perfect no, but we believe that we offer the best educational option in the area. The Board has elected not to ask property owners to carry any additional burden in funding our schools. We believe that our issue on the May 6th ballot is the most fair way to fund our critical needs.

The Board has opted to act with vision and foresight and is seeking support for a one-half of one percent (.5%) earned income tax to fund permanent improvements in the Union Local district. I am asking for all Union Local voters to please support this issue. This would be a 5 year tax on earned income that would require voter support to renew if needed.

What is an “earned” income tax? An earned income tax is a tax on income earned from a job, business partnership or farm profits. It does not tax income from individual retirements, social security, or unemployment (or similar) benefits. Additionally, proceeds from gas and oil are not taxed as earned income. Income from dividends or interest are not taxed by this issue. Who pays this tax? Any citizen that resides (full or part-year) in the Union Local School District that receives earned income from a job or business. What are “permanent” improvements? Permanent improvements, by definition, are investments with an expected life-span of five or more years. Examples of permanent improvements are: textbooks, computers, school busses, and building improvements (heating units, lighting, plumbing, etc.). Is this a “permanent” tax? No, the life of the tax is five years and would require voter approval to be renewed. Can these tax dollars be used to pay administrator and teacher’s salaries? No, these dollars cannot be put into the general fund and used for salaries and benefits.

This issue is critically important in two ways. First it will provide Union Local with permanent improvement funds critically needed to address major issues with the district’s curriculum and infrastructure. More importantly, the issue does not levy taxes on property. We have many residents that have income from employment but rent their home this issue would hold these residents accountable for supporting the schools where they send their children. We have many residents that are retired and enjoying their retirement years in homes they own. This issue would not cost these residents a dime. If anything, a stronger Union Local School District would add value to an individual’s property. We are hopeful that we can count on strong support from our retired residents to support this issue.

What will this cost me? This is a one-half of one percent tax on earned income. For example, if you have earned income of $1,000 per week, the tax would be $5 less than the cost of a value meal. Again, I cannot stress enough this will not be a tax on retirement income, social security, or unemployment. The Board believes that property owners have carried the burden long enough this issue will ensure that the district receives support from all residents with earned income.

Voting against a tax issue is easy. I am asking residents to support this issue and, in-turn, support the education of students in the Union Local district. Everyone wants and expects schools to provide a high quality, up-to-date, and relevant education to all students. That is our goal at Union Local. Our governor and our legislature have failed to respond to the needs of our schools. We need you, our voters, to once again respond in a positive way to provide our children the quality education they deserve. Please vote YES for the Union Local Schools on May 6th.

Doug Thoburn

Superintendent

of Schools

Union Local

School District