Lawmakers seek $1M for schools that lost tax revenues due to tornado damage


Two state lawmakers are pushing to earmark $1-million in state funds for Miami Valley school districts that lost tax revenue because of Memorial Day tornado damage.

State Reps. J. Todd Smith, R-Germantown, and Phil Plummer, R-Butler Twp., introduced House Bill 480 to put $1-million into an emergency fund to replace lost tax revenues for K-12 schools.

“We hope this will just be a temporary loss until people get their homes and businesses rebuilt,” said Plummer.

RELATED: Memorial Day tornadoes’ toll: $46.3M in lost property values, schools to lose big

Smith and Plummer plan to discuss the bill at a press conference this week.

According to the Montgomery County Auditor’s office, 18 school districts lost a combined $1.25 million in property tax revenues attributed to tornado damage — and diminished value — to residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial properties. The Trotwood-Madison School District took the single largest hit to its property tax revenues: $320,280.

Townships, cities and other local jurisdictions in Montgomery County lost another $500,000 in tax revenues due to the tornado damages, the auditor’s office said.

RELATED: Seeking ‘peace of mind’ at the end of the Memorial Day tornado’s path

A record 15 tornadoes hit southwest Ohio on Memorial Day, including four that damaged Montgomery County. The most destructive, rated an EF4 by the National Weather Service, tore a swath from Brookville to Riverside.

In all, the Memorial Day twisters affected more than 4,400 parcels of property in Montgomery County — destroying or inflicting major damage to 915 — according to data assembled by the auditor’s office.

The loss for Trotwood-Madison wasn’t surprising, said Janice Allen, the district’s treasurer.

“But it was a little more than we anticipated,” she said when learning the amount of the decrease late last year.

MORE: Local tax bills vary as much as $3K for similar households depending on where you live

The district will review its budget in February to see where it can be tightened, Allen said. The district received about $6.9 million from property taxes this fiscal year. The bulk of the district’s $45.6 million budget flows through the state.

“Any reduction in revenue is a concern because obviously we have to look out even further than just this year,” she said. “I have to make sure we have monies that will take us far into the future.”

Dayton Public Schools stands to be $248,000 short and revenue for Northridge Local Schools will be down $121,000. The tornado damage also cost Brookville, Northmont, Vandalia and Mad River schools tens of thousands of dollars each.

About the Authors