Renewal of Earned Income Tax Levy
Northwest Local Schools Frequently Asked Questions for the Income Tax Renewal on Earned Income Only for 7 Years on March 19, 2024
1. Will the 1% income tax in March be a new tax or a renewal tax?
- This will be a renewal tax levy that was initially passed in 2010 and renewed in 2014 and 2019
- This income tax would be effective from January 2026 through December 2032
2. How is an earned income tax different than a regular income tax?
- An earned income tax will only tax W-2 compensation or self-employment income that is subject to the self-employment tax. INCOME that is NOT TAXED would include the following:
- Retirement income
- Social Security income
- IRA distributions previously taxed
- Unemployment compensation
- Workers compensation
- Capital gains
- Profit from rental activities
- Lottery winnings
- Distributive shares of profit form corporations
- Alimony received
- Distribution from trusts and estates
3. At what rate will the levy tax?
- This will be a renewal of the 1% income tax on earned income
4. What expenditures has the income tax revenue supported over the years for the Northwest Local School District?
- Reading programs from K-3rd
- Purchased new textbooks and on-line subscriptions for classroom use
- Developed and implemented American Sign Language and STEAM courses
- Purchased Chromebooks and carts for students in all of the school buildings with plans for future tech purchases
- Developed and implemented improved new security, safety plans, and equipment like cameras on every school bus
- Developed and implemented special needs classes in all four school buildings
- Developed and implemented better communication tools such as the electronic sign and Parent Square for communicating with parents. We also developed an online application system to identify more teaching applicants
- Built concession and restrooms for baseball and softball fields
- Developed plans with land purchase to make school district safer with additional exit and green through implementation of solar panels
- Developed plans to keep bus purchases on a rotation that will be come more cost effective for Northwest Schools
5. What has Northwest Local Schools done with money collected from the 1% earned income tax on earned income only?
- The income tax on earned income only has helped the Northwest School District a great deal.
- The income tax has allowed us to continue to improve student and staff safety with two SRO police officers working with us on our campus.
- We have significantly improved our technology to keep our buildings and buses safe as well.
- Speaking of buses, the renewal of the income tax will enable us to keep our transportation on a rotation of bus purchases for years to come.
- Finally, the renewal of the 1% earned income tax on earned income has allowed the school district to develop valuable programming to continue to prepare our students for their future.
6. How is the district fiscally responsible?
- Over the last three years, Northwest Local Schools has earned the best report card numbers from the Ohio Department of Education in all of Stark County. Northwest is among the top 20% of all public-school districts in the State of Ohio with the highest student performance index scores. We were able to accomplish this feat with per pupil expenditures ranking in the bottom 30% in the state and ranked in the middle of Stark County School Districts.
7. There are various cost controls Northwest has implemented over the lat few years to further demonstrate fiscal responsibility.
- Improve our communication system for contacting parents with a stronger program at a much lower cost
- Used ESSER funds and other grant monies instead of tax payer money to improve our security throughout the entire school district
- Begun to implement shared services to school district funding which includes positions like American Sign Language, nursing support and counseling services, and athletic and attendance secretaries
- Begun to use computer software to improve efficiency on daily bus routes
- Implemented changes to our LED lighting to decrease energy usage throughout the district
- Lowering and, in various areas, removing student fees through the school district
- Improved our bidding process for work performed for the school district to ensure that we hire the best work done at the best price. By this we mean we look for a great price. More importantly, we look for the best quality at the right price. We do our "homework" in following current state guidlines. We also do thorough background checks on the businesses we use to ensure quality work every time.
8. Northwest Local has a carryover of over $18.4 million as part of it 5 Year Forecast with the Ohio Department of Education. Why is the 1% income tax on earned income being renewed?
- There has been a very long history of Northwest Local School's being extremely careful with tax=payer money used to fund the school district. This is credited to the previous Treasurer and School Board as the school system is doing well financially because of their careful spending habits.
- The 1% income tax on earned income is a renewal and NOT AN ADDITIONAL TAX. This will enable the school district to maintain current programing.
- We have spent the last three years at the top of Stark County and the State of Ohio maintaining high levels of academic excellence.
- We have done this will maintaining the lowest starting pay and average pay for our teachers for years.
- The renewal of the 1% income tax on earned income will allow the school district to keep our current faculty and staff.
- We need to stop the migration of teacher leaving the school district for better pay every year.
- For example, we lost 11 teachers from Northwest High School at the end of last year. This was largely due to our educators resigning to find work with better pay.
9. Why renew the earned income tax?
- Northwest Local Schools maintains a yearly budget of $25 million. Failure of renewing the 1% income tax on earned income would quickly drain the carryover the district has maintained for the last three years.
10. Why is the Northwest Local School District asking for the renewal now?
- Like everywhere throughout the country, we have experienced rising costs due to inflation and health care premiums. Northwest Local Schools needs to renew the income to maintain our fiscal stability. The renewal of the income tax would allow school leadership to continue its long-term planning to meet or fiscal and personnel needs for the school district.
- The revenue generated will fluctuate as a resident's income goes up or down. The renewal of the income tax on earned income will continue to spread the tax amongst all who live in the district and earn income rather than just those who own real property. This will also continue to lesson the burden for our senior citizens,and retirees, many of whom are on a fixed income.
11. To be absolutely clear, how will the renewal of the earned income tax on earned income be used?
- Moving forward, operational expenditures paid for through the school district's general fund will include the following items:
- Salaries and benefits for all staff
- Transportation costs
- Consumable materials
- Contracted services including special education
- Mandated costs including tests and inspections
- Supplies including custodial and maintenance costs
- Most important: Expanding programming and continued excellent learning opportunities for our students
12. Is the income tax of earned income only for the new school addition?
- No, it is not. The possibility of improvements throughout our campus will continue to be discussed.
13. How much money does the income tax on earned income only generate?
- Collected in 2022-2023: $3,792,698.00
- Projected estimate to be collected in 2023-2024: $3,906,479.00
14. Have other local school districts used an income tax to diversify their income?
- Yes, the following school use an income tax:
15. Will this tax people who are working within the school district?
- No. The employee will pay the renewal of the 1% income tax if the person lives within the community. Just as important, there are only two options for schools districts with an income tax: An income tax OR an earned income tax. Both options only tax the residents of the school district.
16. My home value and taxes went up. Doesn't the school get more money from that?
- Yes, the district will receive an increase in revenue to due the increase in property tax valuation. These revenue increases have helped the district with increased costs of salaries, benefits, and other operating expenses without adding additional levies.
17. How does open enrollment affect our budget?
- We have a fabulous school district with a wonderful - and growing - reputation for providing a high-quality education with strong values. This reputation has resulted in a new gain of 66 students through open enrollment. This current school year, we accepted a total of 157 open enrolled students.
18. How do I get registered to vote and what is the last day this can be done to vote during the March 19th election?
- If you have not registered to vote you have until February 20, 2024 for the March 19, 2024 election.
19. You can register to vote on the Stark County Board of Elections, Summit County board of Elections and Wayne County Board of Election webpages:
20. When considering to renew the income tax on earned income only , hear are some of the amazing accomplishments that have happened throught Northwest Local Schools over the last three years:
- Northwest Middle School National Blue-Ribbon Award
- Northwest High School US News and World Report Best High School List
- State report cared through the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce ranked as the best in Stark County for the last three years
- State Runner Up for Girls Basketball
- State Qualifiers for cross county and wrestling
- Speech and Debate State and National Qualifiers
- Purple Star Award for all four school buildings
- State Winner with the Power of the Pen at Northwest Middle School
- Implementation of PBIS throughout the entire school district
- Expanding the STEM program throughout the entire school district
- Expanding the growth of student participating in College Credit Plus and attending R.G. Drage Career Center
- Ohio Music Education Association recognition for our musical programs for the first time in decades
Would you like to be involved in helping to get more people within the community to vote?
Call Shawn Braman at 330.573.9024 anytime!
Thank you for your support of the Northwest Local Schools!