MAINEVILLE, OH (FOX19) - Residents in Maineville's Miami Bluffs neighborhood filed a petition last year with the state wanting their properties to be transferred to the Kings Local School District. The state granted that transfer, now the Little Miami School District is appealing that decision because it would lose millions of dollars in property taxes.
The Miami Bluffs community has about 580 properties and 84 students from the community attend Little Miami Schools while about 62 students go to private schools.
The community has supported Little Miami school levies but decided last year it wants out of the district. "There were a lot of cuts being made to offering throughout the K through 12 curriculum and the high school curriculum was getting watered down," said resident Mark Sousa.
Residents in the community say the Kings Local School District has more educational opportunities for students. On the flip side, Little Miami Superintendent Greg Power says if properties in Miami Bluffs were transferred, the district would lose nearly $1.5 million in property taxes per year.
"Not only do we lose the taxable property, but everyone else's taxes here will go up, unvoted to make up for much of that loss," said Power.
The Little Miami School District is close to being out of fiscal emergency and state control. "When you look at over 500 properties that are down in that area, it's not like we are losing a significant number of students where I can reduce staff, run fewer buses or close down a building," said Power.
Residents in Miami Bluffs don't believe their putting Little Miami in a tough spot. "I don't feel like the state Board of Education would have approved the transfer to move forward especially with Little Miami still in the process of repaying $11 million if they felt it inhibited their ability to perform financially moving forward," said Sousa.
This case could set a precedent throughout the state. "We lose Miami Bluff, we have some other neighborhoods that are on the border of Kings that we are concerned very similar things might begin to occur," said Power.
If Little Miami loses their appeal, the Kings Local School District would still have the final say whether or not to allow students from the Miami Bluffs neighborhood to attend its schools.