School tax headed for the ballot

The Columbus School Board voted unanimously July 21 to ask voters this fall for a 6.92-mill tax increase to pay for the district’s general growth. The 17-percent property tax increase (a 14-percent increase for commercial property owners) would be spent over five years to add 325 staff—including 76 intervention specialists, 41 positions for expanding pre-kindergarten programs, 34 instructional assistants, 25 social workers, 16 positions in career-technical education, and 16 school nurses. Meanwhile, $125 million would pay for backlogged maintenance items such as roof and parking lot repairs, with $4.4 million set aside for annual maintenance. The board will now spend time reviewing a community panel’s facilities report, including its recommendation to keep all of the CCS high schools open. The tax would cost a homeowner an additional $242.20 for every $100,000 of valuation.