Lordstown Local Schools receives nearly a quarter of our budget (23%) from TPP reimbursements. These reimbursements are due to the elimination of Tangible Personal Property taxes in 2005. The State of Ohio at the time committed to making school districts whole for losses in revenue with the new Commercial Activity Tax (CAT tax). Unfortunately, these reimbursements have been cut and there is a movement at the state level to make further cuts with some wanting to eliminate the reimbursements entirely.
We ask that Lordstown residents and any community stakeholder take the opportunity to contact their state representative, state senator and as well as representatives that sit on the Ohio House Finance & Appropriations Committee to ask them not to make any cuts in this vital revenue stream. Below is a form letter to send specific about Lordstown Schools and a list of emails to members of the committee that would benefit from hearing directly from all of us. Thank you for your time and continued support of Lordstown Local Schools!
We ask that you copy & paste the letter below to your text editor and change the highlighted areas before sending.
April 10, 2015
Ohio House Finance & Appropriations Committee
77 South High Street, 13th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Dear Chairman Smith and honorable members of the Committee:
I am writing as a concerned citizen. I urge you to reject the provision in House Bill 64 that would end Tangible Personal Property (TPP) tax reimbursements to Ohio’s school districts. Please retain current law that keeps TPP reimbursement permanent. There must be NO elimination or phase-out of TPP funding for our schools.
Losing this funding would be crippling to the school districts and communities that still receive replacement revenue for the eliminated local TPP taxes. These reimbursements must remain fully intact regardless of any funding formula changes that may emerge as part of the biennium budget.
Despite the governor’s intent to strip these dollars from our communities, I respectfully ask you to do the opposite and honor the commitment made to the schools, residents and businesses in heavily reliant TPP communities.
While it appears the governor may be able to turn his back on these Ohio communities, I do not believe that the General Assembly, which wrote permanent TPP reimbursements into law just four years ago, would do the same.
Our communities have engaged in the discussion about a permanent fix for the loss of local TPP tax revenues for more than a decade. In that time, our schools implemented efficiencies to adjust to reduced TPP revenues and continue to deliver outstanding educational results. But the dollars at stake are too great to simply shift that burden to our local residential and commercial taxpayers. Stripping those once local revenues must end and state law must continue to provide a measure of fiscal security for the heavily impacted school districts so the excellent educational opportunities for students in my community can continue.
The CAT is yielding more than $1.6 billion in annual revenue for the state’s General Revenue Fund. That is more than $1 billion more than is needed to continue the TPP reimbursements to schools in perpetuity. With that in mind, please consider the onerous economic impact on our local business community if the TPP reimbursements end.
Businesses that did not reap a large benefit when the TPP tax was eliminated actually have a higher tax obligation now under the CAT than they did when they paid TPP taxes. If our schools are forced to go back on the ballot to recoup further TPP funding cuts, our businesses will take a significant hit. The result would be the exact opposite of the original goal of the 2005 tax reform.
Terminating or slashing TPP reimbursements will have real and lasting effects. My neighbors and the businesses we support here will shoulder increasingly larger tax burdens to recover the $1.6 million, $3202.00 per student, in annual TPP funding our schools still receive. Our district has kept its promise to provide an outstanding education while cutting costs and implementing efficiencies. We respectfully ask the Ohio House to do the same and fulfill the commitment to keep permanent TPP funding in Ohio law.
Eliminating the TPP funding will have a dire and immediate impact on our schools. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Cc: The Honorable Speaker of the Ohio House, Cliff Rosenberger
The Honorable Bob Cupp, Chairman of the Ohio House Finance Subcommittee on Primary & Secondary Education
The Honorable Jeff McClain, Chairman of the Ohio House Ways & Means Committee
Your State Rep and State Senator