Xenia school levy passes by 1 vote out of 12,000, now goes to election recount

One of two Xenia Community Schools renewal levies on the Nov. 8 ballot passed by a single vote, per election results announced Tuesday by the Greene County Board of Elections.

Because the result on the income tax renewal levy is so close, the race automatically goes to a recount. The Xenia school district has a small portion that extends into Warren County. Because the election spans multiple counties, the Secretary of State’s Office will set the date for the recount, Greene County Board of Elections Director Alisha Lampert said Tuesday.

The Greene County-only results showed the levy failing by one vote, but the 12 votes cast in the Warren County portion of the district were seven in favor and five against. That means in total, Xenia schools’ 0.5% income tax renewal passed with 6,302 votes in favor, and 6,301 voting against it, election officials said Tuesday.

At the end of Election Night, the unofficial results had that levy passing by a count of 6,099 to 6,078. After Election Day, the Board of Elections then reviews provisional ballots to see which are valid, and also counts any absentee ballots that were postmarked on time and arrived between Election Day and the Nov. 18 deadline. The Greene County Board of Elections finalized that process Tuesday afternoon.

The Xenia school district requested two renewal levies on the Nov. 8 ballot, both for a seven-year duration. The first, a property tax levy, was approved by a 52-48 ratio. That property tax, at 9.9 mills, will continue to raise $7.76 million per year for the school district and will continue to cost the owner of a $100,000 home $303 per year, according to the Greene County Auditor’s office.

The second, the 0.5% income tax renewal levy, goes to the recount.

In a statement the day after the election, Superintendent Gabe Lofton thanked Xenia voters for making their voice heard at the ballot box.

“The fact that both renewal issues ultimately garnered the support of our community during an election with such a high voter turnout speaks to your support for Xenia Schools — and the work happening each and every day in our buildings.”

The two ballot measures represent nearly a quarter of the district’s annual operating budget, Lofton said, accounting for about $12 million.

“While there is often discussion about specific programs, staffing, salaries, and other costs around these kinds of discussions, I want our community to know that it is truly our students who will benefit from this decision,” Lofton said. “By continuing to fund our schools at current levels, the district will be able to continue to offer the supports needed for every student to reach their highest potential, and we are grateful for the support of our community and the trust it shows.”

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