The Northridge Board of Education has approved a five-year forecast that shows a positive cash balance through 2013.

The Northridge Board of Education has approved a five-year forecast that shows a positive cash balance through 2013.

During a special meeting last Monday, interim treasurer Joanne Little updated the ever-changing financial document that was originally prepared by former treasurer Felicia Drummey. The forecast was due to be filed with the Ohio Department of Education on Friday, May 28.

The purpose of the forecast is to provide a way for the Department of Education and auditor of state to identify school districts with potential financial problems.

The projected revenue from general real estate taxes hasn't changed for Northridge since projections were last examined, according to Little.

Northridge's only increase in collection will be the direct result of passage of the 9.9 mill emergency operating levy in May 2009 that is to generate $1,050,000 in the current fiscal year.

Little said the district's 1 percent income tax figure has been adjusted to reflect what Northridge received - $1.8-million for fiscal year 2010. That number was $2-million in 2009 and is projected to bring in $1.7-million in 2011.

The 1 percent income tax will expire on Dec. 31, but the district will continue to receive payments in January and April of 2011.

"It took a year and a half for you to see full collection of the income tax," Little said.

Board member Troy Willeke questioned what would happen if an income tax renewal would fail on November's ballot but pass in May 2011.

That depends on the ballot language, she explained.

"It's how you state it in your resolution," Little said.

Superintendent John Shepard said an "aggressive collection" would be conducted.

"You can also borrow against it, but you don't want to because you have to pay interest," Little said.

Historically, Shepard said, the community has voted against proposed continuing income tax levies, including a request in November 1991 and November 1996.

"Continuing is a hard-sell," Little said. "You need to communicate with constituents that we come back because you use the money and it's important."

Board president Lee Hatfield said there has been talk in the community about "voter fatigue" with ballot requests.

"When we go back, people think we're going for new money even if it's a renewal," Shepard said.

In order to maintain Northridge's current level of staff and services, the 1 percent income tax renewal that will be placed on November's ballot is crucial, Little said.

The district's original 1 percent income tax was approved in November 1997 for a three-year period. The levy was renewed in March 2000 for a five-period, and then was approved again (a year early) in November 2003 for five years commencing Jan. 1, 2006 through Dec. 31, 2010.

Northridge's revised five-year forecast also accounts for a reduction in federal stimulus dollars awarded to Ohio to stabilize the budget through restricted federal grants-in-aid. Northridge budgeted $319,484 and $320,324 in Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, respectively, dropping to about $29,000 in 2012 when stimulus monies won't be a source of revenue.

"The stimulus money is only here for two years, and we received a communication Friday (May 21) that it's only for two years," Little said. "You aren't getting any more."

Little said unrestricted grants-in-aid is state funding for schools referred to as Ohio's School Foundation Payment System. That money is also uncertain in the future based on the state's budget that could involve cuts for schools.

"In October, you should be closer to knowing what's going on," Little said.