POMEROY — The five-year forecast on the finances of the Meigs Local School District, a report required annually by the Ohio Department of Education, shows the school district moving into a deficit operation in fiscal year 2014.
The forecast, which is based on assumptions of receipts and expenditures, shows the cash balance at the conclusion of this fiscal year to be $989,455. In the projected figures, the district will still be in a positive operation with a balance of $914,426 at the conclusion of the 2012 fiscal year, and also in the 2013 fiscal year but the balance is expected to fall to $379,820.
It is in fiscal year 2014 that the district is expected to move into a deficit position of $152,710. It is then predicted that the deficit will continue to increase measurably in 2015 and 2016, according to the figures presented.
The report on Meigs Local’s finances was presented by Treasurer/CFO Mark Rhonemus at a recent meeting of the Board of Education. He emphasized that the report is predicated on assumptions of receipts which can change over time in a variety of categories, as well as expenditures, planned and unplanned.
Among the undetermined factors as to revenue are real estate tax collections.
Rhonemus reported that the collection rate for current first-half of tax year 2011, billed in 2012, decreased to approximately 83.5 percent, which meant that the actual property taxes coming to the school district are approximately $138,500 less than was projected in an earlier statement on school finances.Tangible personal property tax revenue actually increased by approximately $11,600 over what had been projected last fall.
In other categories which influence the amount of money on which the district has to operate, some funds increase for a time then fall, while others show probable increases or decreases for the fiscal year. These include the State Foundation unrestricted grants in aid, federal stimulus dollars, one-time designated funding, and restricted money and dollars which are in the process of being completely eliminated by the state on behalf of the district.
As for expenditures, the Board of Education several years back implemented a reduction in force policy which remains in effect in an effort to decrease the costs of operation. However, the amounts for salaries based on recent negotiated agreements with the teachers and support staff has increased.
Meanwhile, Rhonemus predicts increases in purchased services which include utility costs, supplies and materials, as well as capital outlay for the purchase of three new buses, the increased in the cost of fuel for the buses, and instructional materials.
A picture of the district moving toward a deficit operation is arrived at through assumptions of receipts and expenditures over the next few years.
However, time changes things and as Rhonemus always points when reviewing the five year forecast for the Board of Education it is a “living, breathing document” and always subject to change.