Ansonia Local Schools seek new permanent improvement levy


By Dawn Hatfield

ANSONIA — On May 3, 2022, Ansonia Local Schools will be seeking a new 2.0 mill permanent improvement levy property tax. If this levy is passed, the property tax rate will actually be reduced, meaning residents will pay less in property taxes based on their current valuation.

Ansonia Local Schools Treasurer Nick Hamilton explained, “It’s a new levy that is going to be a reduction. The message we are trying to get out to the public is that, even though it says ‘new levy,’ if this is voted in, you’re gonna see a lower rate for your property taxes next year.” Hamilton continued, “Our bond [debt for the new building approved approximately 20 years ago] will finally be paid off, and we’re looking to re-purpose that millage into a PI [permanent improvement] levy.”

Superintendent Jim Atchley added, “We’ve been in the ‘new’ building for 20 years now, so we’re basically trying to ensure we have a steady maintenance fund for the building. We’ve got parking lots that need to be addressed; we have a chiller we’ve been babying for three or four years — the chiller cost alone is $250,000 — so, we know there are some costs that will be coming. We just ordered a new bus; it’s $110,000. We know $164,000 sounds like a lot on an annual basis, but when you start looking at what that goes toward in a 110,000 square-foot building, plus another new 25,000 square-foot building, the grounds, the track… it really isn’t.”

Atchley and Hamilton feel optimistic the community will educate themselves on the May 3 levy and understand the importance of its passing. Hamilton said, “We presented a 1 percent income tax [in November 2010] that passed on the first try, and our current PI levy always gets approved, so we’ve been very fortunate with public support.”

Atchley added, “We were fortunate then because, at that time, only about 60 percent of the school issues passed back in ‘10, and ours passed the first time. The community has been very supportive over the years. We have a quality school and quality programs here. They’ve been supportive, and we’re hopeful they will support this as well.”

Within a tight-knit community such as Ansonia where everyone has ties to the school, Hamilton concluded, “The school is the center of our community.”

The school provided the following anticipated questions and answers to help explain the new 2022 Permanent Improvement levy.


Why is the district seeking a reduction in taxes?


The new 2.0 mill levy will replace three existing levies for the district and will re-purpose the funds to allow the district to use the funds for continual maintenance of the district. The district’s Bond levy, Maintenance levy, and current Permanent Improvement levy will no longer be collected as of Dec. 31, 2022, if this levy passes, thus reducing the tax rate by 0.738491 mills.


How much money will the new levy generate for the district and what can the funds to be used for?


The levy will generate $164,000 per year for the district to use on bus purchases (approx. $100,000 per bus), upkeep of the buildings and grounds, parking lot maintenance, heating and cooling units, and any other major repairs or improvements to the buildings or grounds. The funds will not be used for wages nor for benefits.


Why is the levy period for a permanent amount of time and not a five-year levy?


As the district’s buildings continue to age, there will be more and more maintenance costs. The district will always need the funds to maintain the building. There are costs associated with running a levy every five years as well, such as legal costs and election costs. These costs are paid by the tax payers every five years. There will always be a need for the maintenance funds, and introducing a permanent levy will provide those funds while decreasing cyclical legal and election costs.


Will the passage of the levy increase or decrease my current property taxes, and when will it take effect?


The passage of the levy will decrease taxes. The three levies are currently collecting at 2.738491 mills; the new levy will collect at a rate of 2.0 mills. This means tax payers will pay less in property taxes. This change in property tax rate will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. The decrease will show on the February 2023 tax bill. For example, a home valued at $100,000 will see an estimated decrease of $25.85; a home valued at $150,000 will see an estimated decrease of $38.78; and a home valued at $200,000 will see an estimated decrease of $51.70 per year.

For additional information regarding the reduction in taxes, please visit the Ansonia Local Schools website or contact Treasurer Nick Hamilton at 937-337-4000.

Dawn Hatfield covers education stories for The Daily Advocate. Have a school-related event or news to share? Reach out by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-0066.

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