Dublin Villager

Treasurer says five-year forecast is more sunny


Thanks to the two-year state budget, Dublin City Schools Treasurer Stephen Osborne is predicting a sunny fiscal forecast.

The Dublin Board of Education this week approved the semi-annual update of the district's five-year forecast that predicts income and expenditures through the 2017-18 fiscal year.

"There are changes tonight, but good changes," Osborne said of the state-required document last updated in May. "It's a brighter picture today than it was a couple of months ago."

The two-year state budget approved in late June increased the income the district will get from the state.

In fact, state funding is expected to increase by about $1.8 million between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years.

The district will also receive reimbursements from the state for tangible personal property tax longer than expected, said Jeremy Buskirk, assistant treasurer.

"Over $8 million was added to this forecast because of that," Osborne said, noting that the district does expect tangible personal property taxes to decrease in the 2016 fiscal year and be completely phased out in the 2017 fiscal year.

Even though state aid will increase over the next two years, Buskirk said the majority of income -- 81.5 percent -- comes from local taxes.

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, the district expects to take in $141.9 million from real estate taxes. The district is anticipating income from real estate taxes to increase each year to $146.7 million in 2015-16 and $152.7 million in 2017-18.

In the five-year forecast, Osborne is also expecting to see growth in the district, especially from new construction. More homes in the district may mean more students, but it would also mean additional real estate taxes.

"As we see more growth, hopefully what we see in this five-year forecast will increase," he said.

While state aid will help Dublin City School finances over the next two years, the district is unsure of what to expect in the next two-year state budget.

"When you go beyond the second year you never know what's going to happen," Osborne said.

As the five-year forecast stands, the district will not go into the red until the 2017-18 fiscal year, when the district predicts $10.6 million in deficit spending. Osborne said the district will likely not have to ask voters for another operating levy until then.