Marietta schools hope voters pass earned income tax levy

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio- (WTAP) - : It’s the third year in a row Marietta voters have decided on a tax issue.

But this will be a different tax than voters there-or anywhere in the area-have decided on before.

“In the past, we’ve put out property taxes, and this is not a tax that’s attached to your property,” Will Hampton, Superintendent, Marietta City Schools, explains. “This is purely on income.”

Meaning, the school system says, it’s not a tax on things like Social Security income, pensions, dividends, interest, capital gains or IRA withdrawls.

And what the $3 million it’s expected to generate will be used for will also be different. It’s to go for wages for both teaching and non-teaching employees.

“Even though we can make some changes in our spending, and we can change some of the things we can do,” Hampton says, “80% of our budget is still salary and benefits. It’s hard to move that unless you have more resources.”

The superintendent says Marietta schools are the lowest-funded in Washington County, and in the bottom 15% in the state of Ohio. The hope is approval of this issue will give the school system a funding source that will grow over the five years the levy is to be in effect.

“Another benefit from this type of tax is that it will grow with wages,” Hampton says. “Property taxes are fixed, they stay pretty level, but this tax can grow over the course of the levy.”

The issue is on the ballot for the May 4th primary, for which early voting began April 6, and continues through the first weekend in May.

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