By Eddie Mowen Jr.
April 29, 2014
Voters in the National Trail Local School District will be asked to approve a .75 percent income tax renewal next week.
The tax will be in place for a period of five years, if approved, on Tuesday, May 6, and will generate approximately $804,000 per year.
The revenue generated from the income tax helps with operating expenses such as utilities, fuel for buses, classroom supplies, employee costs, building and grounds upkeep and maintenance, according to NT Superintendent Jeff Parker.
Parker said the school district has been able to reduce personnel cost by approximately $225,000 since fiscal year 2009. He said that has been accomplished by reducing staff levels, retirements and requiring employee’s to pay a greater share of the health insurance benefits in addition to other cutbacks.
Overall, staffing levels have decreased by five positions since fiscal year 2009, according to Parker.
Parker noted Social Security benefits are not subject to the income tax even if a person’s social security benefits are subject to federal income taxes. He said other retirement and pension incomes could be subject to the tax.
Parker said the income tax was originally passed in February of 2005 and renewed again in November of 2009.
Parker, along with John Toschlog and Brian Smith, say the school district has been very proactive in trying to save tax payers within the district money whenever they get a chance.
“We are looking out for the students and the community,” said Smith, who serves as the district’s Director of Facilities. “Besides fixtures consuming less energy and facilities being more green we have also reduced costs for maintaining fixtures. We are always having to adapt to change and will continue to look for more and better ways to be efficient in serving the community’s needs.”
Toschlog said the district has implemented a more secure building, where visitors to the building must now enter through the main entrance reception are and be “buzzed” in by the staff member on duty. He said that is just one of the ways the district is trying to use the money wisely.
“We are trying to run a business as efficiently and affective as we can,” Parker said. “That sounds like a sound bite, but that’s the truth. We are regular Preble Countians as well.”