The Oberlin Review

Public School Funding Back on the Ballot

Anisa Curry Vietze, Editor-in-Chief

October 23, 2020

This Election Day, Oberlin voters will decide whether or not to renew two separate tax levies which fund the Oberlin public schools. The levies — Issues 21 and 22 on the ballot — are both property taxes and would last for five years before going back on the ballot. “Prior to this election, the issues have gone before the public, and when those issues were voted on previously, they were passed.” said Melissa Linebrink, Oberlin City Schools marketing and communications consultant. “With the renewal, it just means that we're going to the public again, just to ask them for their continued support. We’re not asking for new money, it’s going to be the same amount that they had been paying tax-wise before....

A vacant lot on Elm Street. The College has completed demolitions of seven Village Housing Units since January after filing to do so in November.

Community Responds to College’s Demolition of Village Housing

February 28, 2020

Last month’s demolition of seven Village Houses has sparked conversation over whether the College should have been more intentional in consulting the surrounding community before making the decision to tear the houses down. The College currently has no plans to build on the vacant lots, and some residents are concerned about how the demolition could change the character of their neighborhoods. Carrie Handy, director of planning and development for the City of Oberlin, says her office has received a ...

The site plan for a new school building on N Pleasant St. in Oberlin. The new building will consolidate Oberlin’s four public schools, creating a space for students PK–12.

School Construction Concerns Residents; District Maintains All Is Well

February 14, 2020

As Phase I construction on Oberlin City Schools’ new combined school facility continues, district and school board leadership maintain that the project is proceeding on schedule and on budget, despite community concerns to the contrary. In particular, some residents have expressed unease about the demolition of Oberlin High School’s football field in order to make space for the new building. In November 2018, voters approved a bond measure that would, over 37 years, generate $17.8 million t...

Community members vote at Philips gym in the
November 2017 local election.

Oberlin Primary Election Looks to Renew Key Tax Levies

April 26, 2019

Ohio’s primary election on May 7 will decide whether the city of Oberlin will renew two pre-existing taxes — an income tax that supports the city’s general fund and a tax levy for the benefit of the public library. The five-year, 0.2 percent income tax levy supports the operating and capital improvement expenses that go toward the City’s general fund. The levy is estimated to generate $618,889 in 2019 alone and city officials predict that this number will stay consistent for years to co...

Kendal Supports Community with Taxes

Barbara Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Kendal at Oberlin

November 2, 2018

First, I want to extend compliments to the students of Oberlin College who invest their time to provide a weekly newspaper offering important communication for students, faculty and staff, but also the larger community. Kendal at Oberlin is fortunate to have The Oberlin Review delivered each week for residents and staff. In November, citizens will vote on consolidation of the schools, an important issue that could have lasting impact for generations to come. Yes, it will impact taxes, and citizens must weigh the benefits and personal cost. I applaud all those studying the issue thoroughly before voting. My reason for writing is a quote that was made by a local citizen, stating incorrectly that Kendal at Oberlin is not...

Eastwood Elementary School is in session. A levy will appear on the November ballot, proposing a consolidation all four of Oberlin’s city Schools into one building

Residents to Vote on School Consolidation

September 28, 2018

Oberlin residents will vote this November on Issue 11, a controversial proposed levy that would consolidate Oberlin City Schools into a single building by winter 2025. If approved, residents with a home value of $100,000 will see their taxes increase by $133 per year over the bond issues’ 37-year term, according to the school district. The proposal was motivated by declining enrollment in OCS, as well as concern over the state of existing facilities. Currently, the district comprises four sch...

Oberlin Voters Must Evaluate Building Proposal Carefully

Jim Walsh, Professor of Mathematics

October 6, 2017

To the Editors: Kudos to the Review for reporting on local town issues, namely the desire of Oberlin city school officials to have a new building built at a cost to taxpayers of $36 million. Any attempt to help the campus community learn about life in our town — and vice versa — is a good thing. I do wish, however, to alert readers of the Review to the fact that there is a growing group of concerned Oberlin residents questioning whether the board’s proposal is in the best interests of the city and its people. It is a fact that Oberlin residents have generously supported city schools by voting for the tax levies frequently appearing on the ballot. For example, we pay property taxes in support of city schools f...

Lorain Libertarians Sue to Stop Forced Tax Increase

Brandon Michael Bobbitt, Oberlin resident

April 7, 2017

To the Editors: On Wednesday, April 5, myself and a group of fellow Lorain County residents laid out our objections and plan to halt the recently imposed sales tax increase. The lawsuit being brought by Gerald Phillips, to which I am a plaintiff, contends that not only did the commissioners violate procedural rule but also Ohio’s public meeting laws. The people emphatically denied the request for increased revenue at the ballot box in November by a 74–26 percent margin. As a Libertarian, I have many practical and ideological objections to the tax increase. As a matter of principle, I am opposed to any group of people using force to claim another’s property. In this case, we have public servants purposefully...

City Council President Ronnie Rimbert speaks at Monday’s City Council meeting.
Council passed a resolution opposing Governor John Kasich’s proposed 2017–
2018 budget, which proposes centralized collection of business income tax returns.

City Resists State’s Income-Tax Collection

April 7, 2017

City officials are staunchly resisting a recent proposal by Ohio Governor John Kasich that would give the state centralized control of each city’s business income tax. Local officials fear the program is a stepping-stone to state regulation of local matters, leading Oberlin City Council to pass a resolution in opposition to the proposed program at Monday's meeting. The city receives $7.5 million in income taxes each year, but only about $250,000 comes from business income tax. The tax money goes ...

Wealth Distribution Fails to Invigorate Economy

Jacob Britton, Contributing Writer

March 31, 2017

As Americans we hear all too often from talk radio hosts, comedians and politicians about how the U.S. is lagging behind other countries in terms of economic inequality. Perhaps most famously, Senator Bernie Sanders spoke on this issue during his 2016 presidential campaign, frequently mentioning that the top 1 percent in the U.S. owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. This talking point became the main focus of his entire presidential platform and successfully gained him millions of supporters. However, the idea that income inequality is the most significant issue facing the U.S. is illogical and morally bankrupt. There are two important questions to ask someone who believes income inequality is a major iss...

Students Push for Agreement on College Taxes

Oliver Bok, News Editor

December 12, 2015

The College owns roughly $200 million of property and pays no tax on the majority of it. Some student activists want that fact to change. Since nonprofits like the College are exempt from property taxes, the College pays no tax on buildings related to education, such as classroom buildings and dorms. According to Council member Bryan Burgess, the lack of tax revenue coming from the College breeds resentment and adds to the divide between the College and residents. “Some people in Oberlin have a lot of animosity,” Burgess said. “The college students get all the same services, but they don’t pay.” According to Council member Kristin Peterson, the College would pay roughly $4.4 million more in property taxes i...

Established 1874.