In response to Jim Bado’s letter (Jan. 8) regarding the Van Buren school levy, Mr. Bado represents the levy like a pie in which each property pays for an equal amount of that pie. He gives the example that if there was a $2 million levy divided by 2 properties, each property would pay $1 million. If there are 2 million properties, each would pay $1.

If this was correct, the school would indeed be on a fixed income. He also stated that new homes do not increase the amount of funds that the school receives. I believe that this is not correct.

The $2 million is what the levy is expected to bring in at its passage. The millage remains the same, and the property owner pays their share based on the appraised value of their home. Here is an example from a random home that I looked up that’s in the Van Buren School District. For tax year 2007, the property taxes that went to the Van Buren School District was about $1,658. For 2018, it was about $1,983 and for tax year 2019, payable in 2020, collections going to Van Buren will be about $2,283.

Each time a property is reappraised, the valuation changes and the tax collections are adjusted. That pie that is the levy got bigger as the years went by. Contrary to Mr. Bado’s letter, a new home does, in fact, increase the tax collections for the school because the valuation of the property increases and property tax amount goes up. The county uses building permits to track building and home improvements in part because the county gets a piece of the property taxes collected, too. If you live in Hancock County, all of the tax information I’ve used is available for your home at:

Mark Thomas



After reading how State Rep. Jon Cross presented to the local GOP recently, I found it quite disconcerting that he is at odds with Governor DeWine’s STRONG Ohio gun-control proposal. Considering poll after poll nationally that shows that the majority of Americans are for stricter gun control, I don’t understand why our elected official would be opposed to DeWine’s efforts. Cross even stated, “We’re pleased to have a governor we can work with.” What a juxtaposition that Cross doesn’t want to work with those who put him into office about this issue.

Reading through the governor’s proposals, I couldn’t find a single fault that citizens should be opposed to or afraid of. According to DeWine’s website, it “will preserve constitutional rights, expand treatment options, and prevent violence through: safety protection orders; thorough background checks; rigorous due process; ongoing help to those in crisis; new state background checks; and greater penalties for gun crimes.”

How many more mass shootings and killings need to occur before those in office start working for their constituents and not for the NRA? Every little town where a mass shooting has happened always has someone saying “I didn’t think it would ever happen here …”

I do appreciate that Representative Cross has opened himself up to many public office hours in the district. I hope and pray that he opens up his mind and heart to the need for gun control. Americans are dying for a change.

Cathy M. Weygandt