Levy would avert deficit, treasurer says
Data compiled by the administration of the Genoa Area Local School District indicate the school system faces a deficit of about $100,000 by the end of the 2016 fiscal year on June 30, 2016 without additional spending cuts or revenues.
Bill Nye, district treasurer, said the school system’s five-year financial forecast shows a negative cash balance by then largely due to a drop in state revenues and stagnant property taxes even though the district has reduced expenditures. The projected deficit climbs to about $1.2 million by the end of the 2017 fiscal year.
Voters in the district will decide a 4.99-mill emergency levy request for additional operating funds in the May 6 primary election. If approved, the additional millage would generate $800,000 annually for the district and be in effect for five years.
“The last time we had an approved operating levy was in 2005,” Nye said.
In presentations for the school board, Nye has noted the district collects about $435,000 less in annual tangible personal property taxes than it did four years ago due to a phase-out of the tax by the state.
Other annual revenue losses include a drop of about $900,000 in state support from the 2005 level and $140,000 in income earned on the district’s investments, Nye said.
Additionally, local real estate tax revenue has been stagnant since 2006.
“We’ve reduced expenditures every year since 2009,” Nye said. “That’s not sustainable forever. Our health insurance costs have gone up, the cost of bus fuel goes up as well as other operating expenses. In 2007 we received about $150,000 in interest income. Last year we received $6,300. That’s the equivalent of two veteran teachers.”
According to the forecast, the district will spend about $6.1 million on salaries in the current fiscal year and about $2.46 million on fringe benefits compared to $6.8 million on salaries and $2.3 million on fringe benefits in fiscal 2009.
Total expenditures in 2009 were $11.49 million and are projected to be $10.7 million for the year ending this June.
The forecast projects expenditures rising to $10.9 million by the end of fiscal 2015 and to $11.2 million by the end of fiscal 2016.
A projected cash balance of $1.3 million by June 30 of this year will drop to $737,297 by June 30, 2015, according to Nye’s forecast.
The school board Tuesday again discussed a strategic plan for the district.
Nye said the plan will cover the schools’ finances, facilities, technology, curricula and communications with the public.
“Basically it’s a plan for how we are going to go forward in the future,” he said.