Facts, Finances, and FAQs
With the failure of the levy renewal in 2022 and May 2023, the Board of Education will ask voters in November 2023 for a new 5-year School District Earned Income Tax levy.
- Proposed 1% School District Earned Income Tax to support current expenses and ongoing permanent improvements. The levy would be for 5 years.
- Levy is estimated to generate approximately $5 million annually.
- Levy revenue would be approximately 16% of the General Operating Fund revenue.
- The District has utilized SDIT since 2002 as a way to keep our property taxes below the state average. WCS collects $2000 less per student from property tax compared to the state average. (Source District Profile FY22).
- Without a new levy, the District faces an average deficit of $5 million annually.
See our FAQs at the bottom of the page for additional information.
Operating Funds Provide...
- Student Programs & Services
- Extracurriculars (Athletics, Marching Band, FFA, etc)
- Transportation, Fuel, Utilities
- Building Maintenance and Improvements
- Security and Safety Updates
- Technology, Communications
- Staffing: Teachers, Counselors, Speech Pathologists, Psychologists, Intervention Specialists, Aides, Bus Drivers, Custodians, Cafeteria Workers, Secretaries, Coaches, and other staff to support District operations.
Impact if the Levy Fails
Without a new levy, the District faces an average deficit of approximately $5 million annually.
The Board has identified the following measures to be implemented in 2024-25 to address the deficit if the levy fails in November:
- Implementation of school fees and pay to participate fees
- Facility use rental fees
- Staff reduction / increase class sizes
- Reduce Transportation: Additionally, the Board may reduce Transportation to State minimum requirements as needed, which may include, but not be limited to:
- increase walk zone to two (2) miles
- eliminate bussing for 9th-12th students
- reduce bussing for extra-curricular activities
- Delay curriculum updates
Public schools are required to submit 5 year forecasts twice a year. A financial forecast is an informed estimate of potential revenue and expenses based on historical data and financial trends. As with any forecast, there are many variables that can cause fluctuations in the budget such as increased fuel expenses, unexpected facility repairs, and increasing costs for health insurance.
View our 5-Year Forecast (pdf). To generate report from Ohio Department of Education visit reports.education.ohio.gov/report/finance-forecast-submissions . Select “Wilmington City”, select “FY2023”, select “Required Spring Update”.
Revenue Forecast 2024-25 (FY25)
State and Other Funding:
Amount Forecasted: $12,601,500
Local Funding - Real Estate:
Amount Forecasted: $12,157,164
Total Forecasted Revenue: $24,758,664
Expenditure Forecast 2024-25 (FY25)
Amount Forecasted: $6,878,618
Amount Forecasted: $17,696,731
Amount Forecasted: $3,115,500
Amount Forecasted: $954,750
Amount Forecasted: $783,900
Amount Forecasted: $515,160
Total Forecasted Expenses FY25: $29,944,659
Forecasted Deficit for FY25: $5,185,996
Forecasted Deficit for FY26: $5,417,832
Forecasted Deficit for FY27: $5,655,390
*Purchased Services include but are not limited to utilities, fuel, repairs, consulting services (copier, legal, professional), fees (real estate, auditor), training and software, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about District finances or the 2023 Levy and you don't find the answers below, please contact the Treasurer's office at (937)382-1641. We will continue to update our FAQs.
Who will pay the 1% Earned Income Tax?
All residents of Wilmington City School District will pay 1% earned income tax based on their Ohio Adjusted Gross Income.
Only earned income and self employment income (including income from partnerships) of the residents of the school district is taxed. The tax would exclude all other types of income that would be taxable under the traditional income tax base (interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, etc.). This alternate tax base also excludes certain adjustments to income that are allowed on the federal return, including IRA contributions, self-employment health insurance deductions, and alimony payments. The earned income base also does not allow the personal exemptions that are allowed under the traditional tax base.
Will I pay the proposed tax on my Social Security, retirement, or interest income?
No. Only employee compensation such as wages, salaries and tips; AND self-employment income from sole proprietorships and partnerships are the only items taxed with an EARNED income tax.
Why has the income tax percentage changed from a 1% renewal in 2022, to a proposed tax .75% in May 2023, and then back to 1%?
For 20 years (2002-2022), WCS had a 1% Traditional Income Tax in place. When this renewal failed to renew, the district had to implement a NEW tax in order to replace the $5M that was lost. In May 2023, we applied to the State of Ohio to place a NEW Traditional Income Tax on the ballot that would raise the $5M needed. The State provides the calculation of what percentage we need to charge in order to collect this amount within our school district. They estimated that .75% would bring in the needed revenue using a Traditional Income Tax.
For the November 2023 election, we are going to the voters with an EARNED Income Tax which does not tax retirement, social security, interest, dividends, capital gains and unemployment benefits. With fewer people taxed under an Earned Income Tax, the State estimated that a 1% tax would be needed to raise $5M.
How much will the proposed levy cost the average taxpayer?
A taxpayer living in the Wilmington City School District and earning $50,000 would pay $500 annually (or an avg of $1.37 per day).
Will the District get more revenue from Ohio's New Fair Funding plan?
The net effect of the New Fair Funding plan was expected to be an increase of $491,477 if enrollment had remained the same. However, our enrollment has decreased over the past few years so we actually received $942,788 LESS from State funding in FY22 than we did in FY21 (prior funding formula). Additionally, the State legislature has only voted so far to fund 67% of the funding plan.
What will happen if the proposed levy fails to pass?
The district will consider implementing school fees, pay to play fees, facility use rentals/access, transportation expenses, modifying curriculum adoption schedules and any other non-personnel reductions before considering personnel reductions. It is the District’s goal to provide the fiscal stability necessary to maintain optimal staffing levels and class sizes.
When would the levy go into effect if it passes in November 2023?
January 1, 2024
Did the District receive money through ESSER/ARP (Cares Act) grants?
Grant funds are temporary and they come with a specific list of permitted uses. Grants are generally NOT funds that can be used for ongoing operating expenses. ESSER/ARP funds were spread out over 3 years, with the first disbursement being for the 2020-21 school year and the final disbursement in the 2023-24 school year. They were provided for the specific purposes of helping schools meet the increased financial burden of operating during a pandemic and to bridge the learning gap caused by the pandemic’s impact on students and schools. ESSER/ARP funding will end with the 2023-24 school year.
View details on our ESSER/ARP Expenditures here.
Does WCS receive revenue from property taxes?
Yes. In relation to property tax, the WCS millage is 24.6 compared to the State average of 47.43 (Source District Profile FY22). WCS has not asked for an increase in property taxes in over 20 years. As a result of no new property taxes, WCS collects $2,000 less per student on property tax compared to the State average.
How do I get more information or ask questions regarding the District's finances?
You can contact the Treasurer’s office at (937) 382-1641. For additional details and five-year forecasts you can also see visit the Ohio Department of Education’s website.