School levy forum to be held Feb. 20
Three community groups will host a public forum to discuss Issue 26, the school levy that will be on the March 17 ballot. The event will take place on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd.
The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, FutureHeights and Reaching Heights are hosting the forum, which is free and open to the public. A balanced panel of community activists will discuss the delicate balance between public school funding and tax burden.
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education has asked residents to approve a property tax levy of an additional 7.9 mills. The levy would add $23 per month for each $100,000 of home value, according to the school board.
The hosts have invited representatives of two groups formed in response to the levy proposal—Tiger Nation 4 Lower Taxes and Citizens for Our Heights Schools—to participate in the forum.
On its website, Tiger Nation 4 Lower Taxes, said it opposes the levy because “extreme taxation is a burden on so many of our residents and puts the future of Cleveland Heights & University Heights in extreme danger,” and “it is becoming unsustainable and unaffordable! The high taxes are a threat to our most vulnerable citizens; the elderly, retired, those on fixed income, low income, our impoverished and young individuals/couples with high debt.”
Citizens for Our Heights Schools posits on its website that “failing to pass this levy will place all of us at the mercy of the State of Ohio and will force us to start dismantling parts of our school system. Passing this levy will make sure the money is there to keep our schools intact and the foundation of our community’s success strong.”
Both sides will present their arguments and answer questions from the public. As at all League of Women Voters-sponsored forums, attendees will submit their questions in writing.
Joel Moss is a MSSA/MNO intern at FutureHeights.