Strong fiscal management is a priority for the Grandview Heights City School District. Our school district is committed to providing an excellent education and personalized learning for students while always being mindful of how we spend taxpayer dollars.
We also strive to be as transparent as possible and are eager to answer your questions about the district's finances.
Probably the most common financial question we receive is about the impact of Grandview Yard. With all the growth, construction and job creation happening there, it is logical to think a windfall of money would be available to our schools.
However, the truth is Grandview Yard will have minimal financial impact on the schools for the next 22 years, especially when factoring in the loss of tangible personal property tax reimbursement from the state.
Due to a complex public-private agreement and tax exemptions known as tax-increment financing, very little property-tax revenue from the growth of Grandview Yard will go to fund our schools in the foreseeable future. Much of the revenue generated from Grandview Yard will go to repay the private investors who financed the public improvements required to make the once-blighted area into a thriving part of our community.
The schools receive some funding from Grandview Yard, but to date, the majority of the funding is "revenue neutral," meaning it simply replaced tax revenue lost when demolition occurred at the start of the development. About 75 percent of the revenue received since 2010 represents "hold-harmless" funding.
In 2016, we received about $300,000 in "new" revenue beyond the hold-harmless funds. This comes at an important time, as our school district continues to lose funding from the state due to the elimination of the tangible personal property tax and the gradual phase-out of state reimbursement funds that were given to schools to replace this tax.
Although Grandview Yard revenue will help offset the loss of state funding, it still does not replace the $1.4 million in annual state funding the district has lost since 2011.
Projections show the additional funding is expected to increase gradually, up to about $1.2 million in 2040.
Investing in and reinvigorating our community through projects such as Grandview Yard benefits all of us, but unfortunately they do not translate into a windfall of funds for our schools. We are grateful for the funding we receive from Grandview Yard, but it represents only a small fraction of our overall operating budget.
School funding can be complex. We hope sharing information about topics such as Grandview Yard helps residents understand the financial realities we face as a school district and community.
We welcome any and all questions from our residents. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth Collier is treasurer of the Grandview Heights City School District.