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Columbus Corporations And Unions Support Proposed Levy

New campaign finance reports show the Columbus school levy campaign is getting major financial backing from both corporations and unions. Figures from the Franklin County Board of Elections show backers of proposals to fund school reforms, raised $2.21 million so far. American Electric Power, Nationwide Insurance, Limited Brands, Wolfe Enterprises, Cardinal Health, and Huntington Bank gave a combined $1.3 million of the total. The pro-levy committee has spent all but $37,000, most of it on campaign ads. Gene Pierce, spokesperson for Reimagine Columbus Education, told the Columbus Dispatch this is more than five times what the district's last levy campaign had raised by this point in 2008. "I think it's a sign that the business community knows how important these changes to the school system are," Pierce told the Dispatch. Unions representing teachers, bus drivers, janitors, and food service workers also contributed to the pro-levy effort. The Columbus Education Association gave $85,000 while the Association of State, County, and Municipal Employees donated $76,000. Opponents of the levy have raised less than $2,000. If approved by voters on November 5, the 9.1 mill property tax levy would cost district homeowners an additional $315 dollars annually for every $100,000 dollars of home value.