COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In a unanimous vote, the Columbus City Schools Board of Education approved a ballot initiative that could raise taxes for district residents.

The board approved Tuesday placing a 4.7 mill permanent improvement levy and a 3.0 mill operating levy on the November ballot. Each mill is equal to one-tenth of one cent, or $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. For every $100,000 of a property’s taxable value – which is 35% of its market value – the proposed levies would add a combined $269.50 in taxes each year.  Combined, the levies would bring in almost $100 million a year for the district.

With the board calling it an essential step, the two levies are something Columbus residents will decide in November, potentially impacting district salaries and school improvements.

“We absolutely know this is a big ask for our community,” Columbus Board of Education President Jennifer Adair said.

The operating levy would bring in $38.5 million annually to cover operating costs such as staff and administration salaries.

“We pay our wonderful professionals that are in the classrooms and working with our students every day on buses and in cafeterias as well as our administrators and so, you know, these funds for the operating are essential to ensuring that we have the best educational outcomes for our students,” Adair said.

The permanent improvement levy would bring in an estimated $60.5 million a year for general improvements.

“We know that one of the things that we have struggled with in the past in our district is maintaining and repairing our buildings,” Adair said.

The district voted in August 2022 to remove a proposed levy and bond issue from the November ballot, citing economic challenges within the community.

“Because of the way public education is funded here in Ohio, we must make these regular asks to our community to support our schools,” Adair said.

A former teacher said he is voting in support of the levy come November.

“I would definitely vote to raise the taxes,” Columbus resident Tyler Kondracke said. “Any money that goes to education is well spent, in my opinion. It’s definitely important to support the public school system for sure. They work super hard. All those teachers and honestly, the facilities could use an update as well.”

Some people who did not want to go on camera said they think this will cause a fuss.

Read the approved ballot initiative by clicking here.