St. Marys BoE Decides On Levy

Staff Writer

The St. Marys Board of Education has decided on a levy to put before the voters in November.
In a special meeting Monday evening, the board discussed the two options — a 5-year, 9.25 mil, 1 percent earned income tax and a 5-year, 6.94 mil emergency property tax — selected at the July 11 meeting and voted to pursue the 1 percent earned income tax levy.
The school system would earn $2,603,844 per year with the earned income tax, $649,769 more than the $1,954,075 the proposed property tax would have generated.
Board Treasurer Robin Laman explained the income from the levy would not go into full effect until the 2021 calendar year.
Laman added that the state charges a 1 percent fee to collect the earned income tax where as the county would charge between 2 and 3 percent to collect a property tax. Collecting an income tax means more of the money goes to the school than to state or county agencies.
Upon approval of the resolution, Laman will now take it to the county board of elections, who will certify it, to put it on the ballot.
During discussion of the levies, board member Ron Wilker presented the board and those in attendance with an example of how the earned income levy will tax families.
"If you take a $500 income — say I brought home $500 and my wife brought home $500 — they're going to take $5 a week out of her check and $5 a week out of my check," he said. "If you combine that income, that's $1000 a week and take 1 percent of that, that's $10 per week."
Wilker added that he did receive positive feedback after the May election, citing people who said they liked that the earned income tax would be spread out across all 52 weeks of a year, instead of paying lump sums twice a year.
The 1 percent earned income tax levy will go before the district's voters, pending county board of elections approval, as a part of the Nov. 6 general election.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the July 24 print edition of The Evening Leader.