The Grandview Heights City School District continues to excel and remains an asset to our community.
We have a strong academic record and one of the lowest residential school tax rates in Franklin County. We also take pride in our commitment to responsible financial management and in communicating our financial story with our taxpayers.
One such opportunity to share this information is with the adoption of the five-year financial forecast, which was approved by the Grandview school board last month.
In reviewing the latest forecast, the biggest concern remains state-funding reductions.
Grandview is one of only two school districts in Franklin County to see a decrease in state funding for the 2018-19 biennial state budget. While it's been a challenge to adjust to the significant loss in state funding -- the phasing out of tangible personal property-tax funding of almost $1.5 million annually for our district -- we strategically prepared for the reduction.
Due to these funding reductions, however, our ending cash balance is projected to trend downward beginning in fiscal year 2018.
We are realizing a modest increase in our tax revenue from the recent reappraisal of homes, but it's important to note that due to House Bill 920, increases in property values have little overall effect on tax revenue for the district. In other words, although property values are increasing in our community, by law, school districts generally do not receive additional revenue.
In order to maintain a responsible budget during this phase-out, we have enacted many cost-saving measures. Our focus on operational efficiencies has saved our school district more than $100,000 annually in our daily operations.
However, despite our best efforts to focus on efficiency and watch every dollar we spend, additional revenue may be needed to maintain current operations.
As we look to the immediate future, it is important for district leaders to think proactively and plan ahead to maintain the resources needed to protect the great work happening in our schools. That means we may be looking at an operating levy in 2018.
This is in addition to a possible bond issue that would address the needs of our aging schools. Currently, our schools have an annual permanent-improvement budget of $540,000, while an independent assessment determined it would take $44.5 million to simply address our minimum building maintenance needs. Our goal now is to work with the community on a facilities plan that will be presented to residents in May.
Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff residents can take great pride in our schools. The community's support and trust in our schools is important to us, and that is why we continue to openly communicate important financial information. I am happy to discuss the district's finances at any time.
Beth Collier is treasurer and chief financial officer of the Grandview Heights City School District. Email her at email@example.com.