Elmwood projects finances
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Friday, 25 October 2013 11:18
JERRY CITY - Elmwood Schools have saved enough money through the years that the district will remain in the black even five years from now.
All that, however, is speculation with uncertainty in state funding and continued income tax collection.
District Treasurer LuAnn Vanek submitted to the school board Monday her five-year financial forecast, as required by law.
The forecast shows revenues decreasing by $1 million from this year to 2017-18, while expenses increase $1.7 million during that same time.
The numbers do not figure in the renewal of the district's two income taxes, which are on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Vanek forecasted general property tax revenues to increase to coincide with the increase in property values in the district. Elmwood collects on two continuing property tax levies.
She forecasts that collection will increase to $2.3 million in five years from $2.1 million this year.
The district's income tax collection has steadily increased over the last several years, contributing to a "substantial" carryover balance for the general fund, according to Vanek's report.
That carryover will keep the district in the black as it uses the funds to cover forecasted expenses that outgrow revenue, in the event the income tax levies fail.
Income tax collected in 2011-12 was up 6.36 percent and again up 5 percent last year. Vanek has projected a 4-percent annual increase this year. The taxes will expire in 2015 and 2016.
The combined taxes will generate $1.65 million for the district this year, accounting for about 14 percent of the district's $11.6 million budget.
She forecasted no increases in state funding for the next five years, keeping that line item at $6.47 million.
She has forecasted this year's revenue at $11.6 million and $10.5 million in 2017-18.
Salaries are projected to rise from a combination of adding staff and the agreements with the district's two unions.
Elmwood has hired a middle school special education teacher, two elementary intervention teachers and three aide positions. This past year, Vanek and six teachers retired; five of the teachers and Vanek were hired at lower salaries.
Salaries, not counting benefits, are expected to be $6.8 million this year and $7.6 million in five years.
She concluded in her report that "due to lower state aid and loss of state personal property tax reimbursements, revenues become less than our expenditures and we begin to spend part of our carryover balance. Every effort will continue to be made to contain costs. At this point the new state funding formula shows no relief in this biennium."
She predicts the district's carryover balance to be $6.1 million at the end of this school year, and $1 million at the end of 2017-18.
Also at Monday's meeting, the board approved a trip to France and Germany, open to all high school students, from June 23 to July 2, 2014. The trip is intended to provide experience with foreign culture and language.
The next board meeting will be Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. in the middle school library.