November 21, 2002

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School tax questions answered during forum

More than 50 local residents attended a forum last week to learn more about the school income tax the Yellow Springs school district is now collecting.

Sponsored by the Yellow Springs Men’s Group, the Nov. 13 forum was an effort to help villagers better understand the tax. The meeting featured presentations by Superintendent Tony Armocida, Treasurer Joy Kitzmiller, school board member Tom Haugsby and Sylvester Monroe, a supervisor in the Ohio tax department’s school income tax office, as well as a lengthy question-and-answer period.

The following is an overview of the meeting.

• Local voters approved a 1 percent school income tax in November 2001. The tax, which took the place of a property tax levy that expired at the end of last year, is expected to generate $1.1 million for the district, or 13 percent of the schools’ annual funding. The district hopes this revenue will eventually increase and provide 20 percent of its revenue, Armocida said.

• The school income tax is levied on all residents of the Yellow Springs school district, which includes people who live in Miami Township, outside of Yellow Springs. The tax took effect Jan. 1, 2002.

The tax is levied on a person’s income, including interest and capital gains. Social Security, disability, railroad retirement and welfare benefits, child support and worker’s compensation are considered non-taxable income.

People over the age of 65 are eligible for a $50 credit toward payment of the tax.

• Many retired people and people who are self-employed should pay the tax on a quarterly basis using the estimated quarterly tax form. According to both the school district and the Ohio tax department, a quarterly estimated return must be filed if you expect to be “under-withheld” by more than $500 for the combined school income tax and the state individual income tax.

• Monroe had some good news for people who pay their taxes on a quarterly basis, but who have not paid the school tax this year: You will not be penalized if you pay 90 percent of your total tax by January, when the regular fourth-quarter tax payment is due, and the rest of the tax by April 15, 2003. In other words, if you owe $10 in school income tax, you must pay $9 by Jan. 15, 2003, and the remaining $1 by April 15, 2003.

This break, however, is only good for this year, Monroe said.

• Residents of the school district should tell their employers to withhold the tax from their paychecks.

The Yellow Springs school district is No. 2907.

—Robert Mihalek


For more information

More information on the school income tax can be obtained from the Yellow Springs public schools, 767-7381, or the Ohio Department of Taxation, 800-282-1780 (for individual services) and 888-405-4039 (for business services); or

Tax forms are available online at the Ohio tax department Web site or at the Yellow Springs Library. Tax forms may be requested from the state, 800-282-1782.