The Reynoldsburg City School District's new five-year financial forecast projects a positive cash balance in 2015, which "exceeds a promise to the community for a positive balance in 2014," treasurer Tammy Miller said.

The Reynoldsburg City School District's new five-year financial forecast projects a positive cash balance in 2015, which "exceeds a promise to the community for a positive balance in 2014," treasurer Tammy Miller said.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education on May 15 approved the new forecast, which shows total revenues for 2011 were $56,029,817, total expenditures were $52,824,460 and a fund balance was $3,274,117.

Projected total revenues for fiscal year 2012, which ends after June 30, are $57,364,640, with total expenditures projected at $55,898,653 and a fund balance of $4,747,225, after estimated encumbrances.

The forecast projects expenses would begin to outpace revenues by $288,375 in 2014 but still a cash balance of $6,602,969 and a positive fund balance of $4,952,969, after estimated encumbrances.

By 2015, the fund balance is positive but drops to about $2.9 million, and expenses outpace revenue by about $2 million.

Expenses exceed revenue by $4.3 million in 2016 on the new forecast. After adding a cash balance of about $4.6 million, the balance is down to $261,666. After estimated encumbrances, the budget deficit that year is projected to be about $1.4 million.

Miller said the district incurred revenue losses of about $3.6 million since passing a 6.9-mill incremental operating levy in 2010 because of decreased state revenues, the phase-out of tangible-personal-property-tax reimbursement and lower real estate tax revenues resulting from reappraisals.

The 6.9-mill incremental levy will increase by 1 mill each year until it reaches 9.9 mills.

"The loss of these revenues neutralizes much of the levy," Miller said.

She said the district has continued to make budget cuts and has cut more than 200 staff positions since 2009, with additional staff cuts planned in 2013.

"The new agreement with staff members is one reason we could project a positive cash balance through 2015," Miller said.

Superintendent Stephen Dackin said at the meeting that the district has been "in a perpetual state of reduction for the past four years."

Miller wrote in the forecast assumptions that the new three-year contract for the district's certified employees, approved Aug. 1, 2011, freezes base salaries for three years and step increases for two years. Certified employees who do not receive a step increase will receive a 2-percent cost-of-living increase in 2012 and a 1-percent increase in 2013.

She said the district also restructured the health-insurance plan offered to employees, raising deductibles and out-of-pocket limits, as well as the employees' share of health-care premiums.

She said certified staff salaries are frozen for fiscal year 2014.

The certified contract will cost the district $8 million less over the next three years than if the previous contract terms had remained in effect, Miller stated in the assumptions.

The district was under budget on its completed construction projects, which included the new high school and elementary school on Summit Road, she wrote. That savings could be used for maintenance and permanent improvements, making the renewal of the district's current permanent improvement levy, which expired in December 2011, unnecessary.

Miller said the forecast is a "planning tool" that continually changes as more up-to-date information becomes available or if the underlying assumptions change.

Learn more about district finances at reyn.org/ Treasurer.aspx.