Mailers sent out anonymously on school bond issue are incorrect

Voters in Bowling Green last November

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

The 8,400 mailers sent out by a Bowling Green man opposed to the school bond issue include incorrect tax numbers.

The Wood County Auditor’s Office said today that the school bond issue taxes were calculated incorrectly on the mailers that Bowling Green School District voters are receiving in their mail. The mailers portray the taxes as much higher than they actually are, according to the auditor’s office.

Though the mailers were sent out anonymously, Bowling Green businessman Bud Henschen has acknowledged that he sent them out. He said he wanted to make sure people were aware of the bond issue and of the effect it would have on their taxes.

But improper calculations resulted in the incorrect information going out to 8,400 potential voters.

The mailers state that for the owner of a $200,000 home, the new levy would cost $420, and would add up to total property taxes of $6,365 a year. That number is nearly $2,500 too high.

Using the correct calculations, for the owner of a $200,000 home, the new levy would cost $420, but the total taxes would add up to $3,928, according to the county auditor’s office.

“We can’t really speak to what he did. We’re just going on what we know is fact,” said Becky Graber, deputy auditor.

Henschen said he was just trying to get information out to potential voters.

The 6-mill, 37-year bond issue is unaffordable to the average person, he said. Henschen initially denied using inaccurate numbers on his mailer. “I’m not inflating these,” he said.

But the county auditor’s office staff said they had explained how to calculate the tax to Henschen and pointed out to him that he was using the wrong figures.

“I told him, you use the effective rate, not the full rate – which makes a big difference,” Graber said.

After speaking with the auditor’s office this afternoon, Henschen acknowledged the calculation error on the mailings. “That is a blunder,” he said.

The inaccurate mailers have Superintendent Francis Scruci in clean up mode – trying to get out the correct information before the Nov. 7 election.

“This is scaring people,” the superintendent said this morning. “This is lying to them.”

The voters should be able to decide how they feel about the bond issue based on facts – not fake news flyers, he said.

Scruci spoke about the mailers Monday evening at a Bowling Green City Council meeting.

“I hope when you and your neighbors get this, you put it where it belongs, and that’s the trash,” he said. “It’s not worth the paper it was printed on.”

“We’ve been transparent from day one,” said Scruci, who has been making almost daily presentations about the bond issue.

“You can mess with me, but this is messing with the kids,” Scruci said.