Dublin Villager

School officials keeping sharp eye on state budget

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Although the two-year state budget has yet to be approved, Dublin City Schools officials are estimating an increase in funding over the next five years.

Dublin Board of Education members last week approved a semi-annual update of the state-required financial document that estimates income and expenses to the 2016-17 school year.

"We're very, very conservative on growth right now," District Treasurer Stephen Osborne said.

Estimated operating revenue for the current school year is $165.4 million.

Revenues grow to $172.63 million in the 2013-14 school year, but fall slightly to $172.59 million the next year.

Revenue is expected to rebound for the 2015-16 school year to $175.8 and $178.9 million for the 2016-17 school year.

Real estate tax revenue paid to the district will jump from $133 million for this school year to $141 million next year when the levy approved in 2012 has a full year to collect.

The district also anticipates receiving $700,000 from casinos opened around the state within the past year.

Although revenue in the district is expected to increase over the next five years, Osborne said the two-year state budget that has yet to be approved and is not figured in.

"We have not included any adjustments in the state budget," he said. "If the 6-percent increase goes through we'll add it in."

The fate of tangible personal property tax reimbursements is also undetermined.

The state has been phasing out the reimbursements and Dublin City Schools received $4.2 million in the 2013 fiscal year.

The district estimates the reimbursement will decrease to $2.1 million in the 2014 fiscal year and zero out after that.

The reimbursements of $4.2 million, however, could remain over the next two years if one version of the budget is approved.

Operating expenses are also expected to increase over the next five years, reaching $200 million by the 2016-17 school year.

Expenditures are estimated to top $166 million for the current school year, increasing to $173 million in the 2013-14 school year.

In the 2014-15 school year expenses are anticipated at $181 million and $190 million for the 2015-16 school year.

Increases in expenditures are anticipated in wages for staff and benefits.

Osborne said the Affordable Healthcare Act should add about $115,000 to district expenses.

The five-year forecast will be submitted to the state, but could change once the state biennial budget is approved.

Osborne said the senate is expected to vote this week then send it to conference committee. The budget must be approved by July 1.

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