The Press Newspaper
The Oregon school board will discuss its five year financial forecast at a meeting on Monday. The discussion will review revenues, and whether an operating levy is needed on next year’s ballot.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the media center at Clay High School.
The board will also discuss how to appropriate funds from a permanent improvement levy voters passed in November. The district will start collecting the revenue in January, according to Jeff Ziviski, vice president of the school board.
“We’re going to discuss allocations for technology, the band, and the buildings,” said Ziviski.
The five year financial forecast will determine if the district can hang on until 2010 before another levy is needed, he said.
“I think it will be tough if we don’t put another levy on the ballot next year,” said Ziviski. “We’re still facing a deficit at the end of the 2010 school year.”
Voters last year rejected a 5.9 mill operating levy, but passed it when it appeared on the ballot earlier this year by 52 percent to 48 percent
The levy will raise approximately $3.5 million per year.
In addition, the board has cut over $3 million from its general budget in the last two years to avert a budget shortfall.
Cuts have included a reduction of each bus route by 15 minutes per day, lower heating and no air conditioning, and the elimination of pre-kindergarten LEAP and Jump Start programs
The board has also saved money by not filling positions vacated by resignations and retirements.
The district blames its financial woes on House Bill 66, passed by the Legislature in June, 2005. The bill phases out tax on tangible personal property of general businesses, telephone and telecommunications companies and railroads. The district will lose $7 million annually once the tax is phased out over a five year period.
The bill also affected the amount collected for the abatement agreements for payments in lieu of taxes that the school receives from local companies.
Districts have also been forced to go on the ballot every few years as the result of House Bill 920, passed by the Ohio Legislature in 1976. As property values increase, taxes are rolled back through a tax reduction factor, making it difficult for districts to keep up with inflation.
The board will have its organizational meeting on Jan. 8, when it votes on board officers. The board will also discuss whether to meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month rather than the current second Tuesday of the month, said Ziviski.