Columbus to repay New Albany $1.4M over three years
The New Albany-Plain Local School District will receive payments over the next three years from Columbus City Schools totaling approximately $1.4 million.
"We will be receiving a refund of a little over $1.4 million over a three-year period that we have largely factored into our projections," said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway. "It amounts to less than 1 percent of our annual budget and is well within acceptable range for a budget variance."
The refund is the result of an overpayment to the Columbus district as part of the Win-Win agreement.
The agreement allows suburban school districts to maintain their boundaries within the city of Columbus while paying a share of tax revenue for commercial properties that fall within Columbus.
A billing error found in 2010 resulted in Columbus receiving more money from six school districts than was actually owed. New Albany overpaid by about $1.4 million.
The New Albany-Plain Local school board Aug. 27 approved an agreement with Columbus City Schools for the refund and to amend the Win-Win agreement.
Previously, Columbus City Schools calculated Win-Win payments for suburban districts. The amendment names the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio as a third party to calculate Win-Win payments, said New Albany Superintendent April Domine.
The refunds also will be funneled through the center.
According to the amended agreement, Win-Win payments will be calculated and distributed to individual districts. All payments will go into a reconciliation fund at the service center.
The center then will use the money to repay districts that overpaid. Refund payments will be completed by May 2014, according to the agreement.
The center will continue to calculate Win-Win payments until 2015. Each district will have "a built-in time period for reviewing each annual bill, and for challenging bills if necessary," according to New Albany-Plain Local officials.
The benefits of Win-Win, according to New Albany-Plain Local officials, are "border stability, revenue-sharing, property-tax revenue predictability and cooperative programs through the Franklin County Educational Council, which was created by the (Win-Win) agreement. The (Win-Win) agreement also gives districts some predictability in terms of student populations, staffing needs and expenditures because of the agreement's handling of annexations and territory transfers between districts."