Marysville News

Despite improved forecast, district depends on levy

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The Marysville school district's latest five-year financial forecast -- approved by the board of education Oct. 17 -- "looks much better than last spring," according to Treasurer Cindy Ritter.

However, it still relies heavily on voter approval of a 6.56-mill levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Ritter attributed the change in outlook to the $2 million that was cut from the budget in the past year.

However, if the levy does not pass, she said, the district's cash balance will be in the negative in 2017 and the deficit will drop to $3.2 million in 2018.

The levy up for renewal began in 2010 and runs through 2014. It is currently collecting at 3.05661 mills and costs the owner of a $100,000 home $93.62 a year. The renewal, if approved, will not increase property owners' taxes.

Ritter explained that 52 percent of the district's general fund money comes from the state of Ohio.

"We are more and more dependent every year," she said. "About 47 percent of our funding is our real estate and tangible property tax."

The state has been phasing out the tangible personal property tax, which Ritter cites as part of the dropping revenue in the district. She also blames a recent revaluation of properties by the Union County Auditor's Office.

"The estimated reappraisal for this year is $668 million. We were at $680 million in 2003 -- that's $10 million more. We have lost that much value in the district in 10 years," Ritter said.

If the levy does pass, the five-year forecast shows a cash balance of $3,381,416 in fiscal year 2014 and a cash balance of $9,359,432 in fiscal year 2018.

If the levy is rejected, the forecast shows a deficit in fiscal year 2018 of $3,277,647.

All school districts in Ohio are required to file a five-year financial forecast twice a year, once by May 31 and once by Oct. 31, according to Ritter's online forecast report.

"The five-year forecast includes three years of actual and five years of projected general fund revenues and expenditures. Fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) is the first year of the five-year forecast and is considered the baseline year."

Superintendent Diane Mankins reported to board members that the levy campaign committee has been doing literature drops and distributing the same number of yard signs and ads as it did prior to the May election.

If the levy is not passed in November, the district would still have time in 2014 to roll out another request before voters before it would expire.

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