Nelsonville-York Drops Tax Appeal Case

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Nelsonville-York City School District is apparently dropping its case with the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals challenging the county’s refusal to transfer funds for some permanent improvement projects.

According to a notice prepared by the school district’s attorney, the school system is voluntarily dismissing the appeal it had filed of an Athens County Budget Commission decision. School officials could not be reached for comment late Monday afternoon.

The online docket of the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals did not indicate Monday that the notice had been filed with the board.

Earlier this year, the budget commission denied the school district’s request to transfer money from its bond retirement fund to pay for permanent improvements. The amount requested for transfer was $378,000, with the money to be used for textbooks, roof repairs, a new school bus and security camera upgrades.

At the time, then-county treasurer JaVon Kittle Cooper, who was chairwoman of the budget commission, said the transfer was denied because the commission wanted to ensure there would be adequate funds to retire the school district’s bond debt. County Auditor Jill Thompson, also a budget commission member, said she had a problem with the idea of taking money voted for one purpose and using it for another.

In addition to the case with the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals, the school district also filed an appeal in Athens County Common Pleas Court. The county sought dismissal of the case on grounds that the appeals board, not the court, had jurisdiction in the matter. The school district responded that it would not oppose dismissal of the court case, but the court’s online docket indicated Monday that the case is still open.

County Assistant Prosecutor Merry Saunders, who represents the budget commission, said the court case is expected to be dismissed also.

Saunders said she did not know why the school district decided to drop the appeal to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals.

In September, the budget commission reduced the millage of Nelsonville-York’s three bond issues, which totaled 5.33 mills, to 2.59 mills.