The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced its endorsement of Issue 19, a 7.9 mill property tax levy to fund Canton City Schools. Issue 19, which will appear on the March 17 primary ballot, would provide the district with new local funding for the first time in nine years.

“A strong local talent pool depends on strong local schools,” said Dennis P. Saunier, president and CEO of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Workforce issues are a priority for the Chamber and the strength of our local economy, and that starts with our county's largest school district.”

With passage of the 7.9 mill levy, Canton City Schools will not only avoid an additional $5.1 million in spending cuts, but will be able to fund critical objectives necessary to ensure greater student success and prepare them for higher education and/or the workforce. 
While the Chamber is sensitive to additional tax burdens for county residents, the economic benefits of a strong school system in Canton, as well as the direct tie to the Chamber’s strategic objective to sustain the community through talent attraction and retention, outweigh the additional cost to taxpayers. The Chamber believes that Canton City Schools Superintendent Jeff Graham and the school board have demonstrated a commitment to implementing needed programs and engaging with the business community to achieve progress toward better academic performance. 

Support of Issue 19 was vetted and approved by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and approved unanimously by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Therefore, the Chamber recommends a YES vote on Issue 19 on the March 17 ballot.