Stable financial forecast – taxes scheduled to be reduced
Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2015
As the chief financial officer of the Loveland City School District it is my privilege to serve our Tiger Family by ensuring our team prepares students for tomorrow, today while maintaining the fiscal health of our operations. I want you – our investor – to know that it is of the utmost importance to my team to operate in a fiscally conservative manner. One tool we use to project our financial future is called the five year forecast – and each fall, by state law, it is presented to the Loveland Board of Education. At the October 20 Board Business Meeting, I was pleased with the news we had to deliver: financial stability.
Our five-year model projects a cash balance that offers the district one-time funds to make significant investments in areas that were deferred during the recession. This opportunity is the outcome of projected state funding being more than anticipated, and health insurance costs being less.
When the Board of Education approved the financial forecast in April, the primary funding scenarios available showed a concept of penalizing higher-income districts. While we still will see a reduction in state funding due to our income wealth factor, to the advantage of the district, the budget that was ultimately approved in July has offered an increased per pupil amount for Loveland. In addition, the state money that our district is guaranteed to receive over time has increased.
Our positive projections are due in part to voters in the Loveland City School District passing a 5.6 mill operating levy in May of 2014; passage of the levy provided our team an opportunity to continue the excellent education we provide to our students, and – as always – we offer a sincere thank you to those who supported and continue to support our district. With that gratitude comes an assurance that we will continue to manage expenditures:
• The addition of energy efficient initiatives saving more than $400,000 per year since 2011
• The district is saving more than $250,000 due to participation in two insurance programs
• The district has reduced staffing cost by $692,000 (over three years)
• The district has saved more than $1.5 million through new initiatives and cost saving measures (over three years)
It was also during the 2014 levy campaign that the district first informed you the bond millage would be reduced from 3.34 mills down to 1.75 mills (effective calendar year 2015). The Hamilton County Budget Commission approved this reduction. This means that taxpayers living in the district will see a reduction of approximately $48 per $100,000 of appraised real estate due to the retirement of district bonds, and the reduction will be reflected when taxes are due in calendar year 2016. We are pleased that this promise made to you, our investors, has been fulfilled.
Should you have any specific questions about our district finances, I encourage you to contact me directly. My door is always open.
Loveland City School District
Treasurer & CFO