State budget gives more to Marysville schools
The new state budget is good news for Marysville schools, according to Treasurer Cindy Ritter.
"We are getting more money, unlike some of the other districts in the county, and I'm thankful," she said.
According to Ritter, the district will receive an additional $954,304 for fiscal year 2014 and an additional $1,703,432 for fiscal year 2015.
The first of the payments will be added to the state foundation payments the district receives twice monthly, she said. This year, the total the district will receive is $15,268,856, which means it will receive $636,202 twice a month starting this month.
Ritter said the $2.6 million over the next two years will help fill a void the district has had for many years.
"Over the last few years, we've lost money because of TPP (tangible personal property tax)," she said. "We haven't had any increases in TPP that we were used to getting, so it helps.
"We haven't discussed how we're going to use it. It's just going to go into the general fund. It's going to be general operation money."
There are several unfunded mandates coming from the state and that new money might have to help meet those mandates, Ritter said. One of those is the new third-grade reading guarantee.
"That's a big mandate we have to make," she said. "Do we use this new money to make sure we've got the third-grade reading guarantee? I don't know. We just have to work together."
The figure is pretty close to what school administrators thought they might get. Gov. John Kasich's original budget projected close to $2 million or more in each year for Marysville schools.
The Ohio House of Representatives' version of the budget included a much lower amount for the district. The Ohio Senate's version of the budget is the closest to what the district will actually receive, according to Ritter.
"The other thing in the budget I'm really concerned about is that homestead and rollback they put in the last minute," she said. "It was one of those things that got dropped in in the conference committee and nobody saw it coming."
The new budget eliminates the 10-percent and 2.5-percent rollback replacement payments for property taxpayers on new and replacement levies.
"We've always said you get this 12.5-percent deduction from your tax bill. Now it's not going to be there on any new or replacement levies," Ritter said. "That's going to be one area we're going to have to really understand before we go after any more levies."
She said this is especially concerning because the Marys-ville school district has a 6.56-mill renewal levy coming up.
"That's going to be a big thing because that renewal only brings in 3.05 mills out of the 6.56, so it's less than half. This plays into our whole thinking about levies and the levy cycles," Ritter said.
She said she hopes to attend a seminar next week that will show district treasurers exactly how the state came up with the numbers.
"When you're looking at a budget of $46 million, it's not that much," she said of the additional money Marysville schools will receive.
"It's a 6-percent increase. It's a nice increase, but we've also had a lot of decreases over the last few years. It's not bringing jobs back. It's holding where we are. We have to wait and see what we are using this for because we don't want to be in the same spot we were before," she said. "We're just thankful we got more money."