Dublin Villager

Dublin City School District

Revenues expected to drop before making a slow recovery

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Dublin City School District officials looking ahead at finances over the next five years, said revenues are expected to drop before making a slow recovery in 2015.

The Dublin Board of Education last week approved an updated five-year financial forecast, as required by the state.

According to the new forecast that predicts fiscal information through the 2016-17 fiscal year, operating revenues are expected to be around $156.4 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year before decreasing to $155.3 million during the 2013-14 fiscal year. Revenue is expected to decrease slightly in the 2014-15 fiscal year to $155.2 million before increasing to $158.2 million in 2015-16 and $160.9 million for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The district is anticipating flat funding from the state even though a new funding formula is expected in the new two-year state budget from Gov. John Kasich.

"Our best guess is hopefully we'll be flat funded through fiscal year 2017," said Brian Kern, the district's assistant treasurer.

Other state funding, reimbursements from the tangible-personal-property tax, are expected to be phased out soon, said Stephen Osborne, district treasurer.

The district used to receive about $10 million annually, but the reimbursements are being phased out by almost $3 million per year.

"By 2015 it will be completely phased out," Osborne said.

Real estate tax makes up the largest share of the district's revenue and is expected to increase over the next five years from $125.8 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year to $127.1 million the next year and $129 million in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Real estate tax revenues are expected to increase further to $131.7 million in 2015-16 and $134.2 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Revenues do not eclipse expenditures in the five-year forecast, though.

In the 2012-13 fiscal year expenditures are estimated at $168.8 million and $174.2 million in 2013-14.

In the 2014-15 fiscal year operating expenses will increase to $182.1 million, $190.7 million the year after and $199.9 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

According to Kern, with the increase in enrollment, staff costs will increase over the next five years. The student population is diverse, he said, adding students with special needs or who need to learn English.

"It requires additional staff to meet the needs of those students," Kern said.

Wages for district staff are expected to increase over the next five years from $110.9 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year to $123.6 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The district is also anticipating benefits such as insurance will increase as well.

According to the five-year forecast, the district anticipates spending $39 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year and $54.1 million by the 2016-17 fiscal year.

As expenses increase, Dublin City Schools are looking at a declining ending cash balance from $25.8 million in the 2012-13 fiscal year to $6.3 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

A negative ending cash balance of $21 million is expected in the 2014-15 fiscal year if Issue 48 doesn't pass Nov. 6.

Issue 48 is a combined 6.4-mill operating levy and $15.87-million bond issue on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The tax issue, district officials have said, will fund the district through 2016.

The bond portion of the issue would fund maintenance, equipment and technology around the district in addition to improvements to the Davis Middle School commons area, the traffic flow at Riverside Elementary School and new HVAC and fire alarm systems at Deer Run Elementary School.

If approved by voters, Issue 48 would cost homeowners an additional $213 per $100,000 assessed home value annually.

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