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Response by Jill Rowe Treasurer to a Recent Mailing in the District in Regards to School Finance and the Bond Issue



Statement #1 – Did you know that the figures are on top of what you are currently paying.  While this statement is true.  The elementary buildings will be paid off in 2022 and your taxes will go down due to these buildings being paid off.


Statement #2 – Did you know your property taxes will go up due to reevaluation.  This statement is untrue.  Yes there is a reevaluation in 2018, however in the late 1970’s HB920 was passed.  This bill stated that voted millage cannot increase due to inflationary increases.  So as property is reevaluated the school district does not see an increase if the property values are increased.  The school district only sees an increase on 5.2 mills if property values are increased.  The remaining millage the school district receives does not increase.  The Ohio Department of Taxation rolls the millage back so the district does not see any increases.  For example the Permanent Improvement levy was passed in 1987 at 3.5 mills and the District collected around $420,000 on that levy.  Today the District still collects $420,000 on that levy.  Even though property rates have increased since 1987 the District is still collecting the same amount as when it was passed due to the HB920 law.


Statement #3 – Did you know you will see an increase due to the Farm Tax Break.  The State of Ohio did pass a bill to reduce the amount that will be taxed on farm values.  But it is not completely true that residential property owners will see an increase.  Since the reevaluation is set to occur in 2018, the increase in property values could offset this lowering of the farm rates.  We need to wait and see what will happen in the future with these new laws before making a blanketed statement taxes will automatically increase.


Statement #4 – Did you know the School Board Treasurer said the district would be out of operating money in 2018.  That would mean another operating levy!  Being that I am the school district Treasurer, that statement was never made.  The revised five year forecast I submitted in July 2017 to the Ohio Department of Education does show that the district will begin deficit spending next fiscal year (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018).  The deficit spending is mainly occurring due to the state revenue cuts the district received in the new biennial budget bill.  The district is going to lose approximately $273,000 in each of the next fiscal years.  This decrease is mainly due to enrollment losses and funding cuts.  What I clearly said and presented in my presentation (which has been shared on social media many times) is the District is showing less revenue and we have an emergency levy RENEWAL on the horizon.  The RENEWAL can be placed on the ballot twice in 2019 and any time in 2020 and it is our intention to RENEW this levy without asking for new money.  We have operated positively (in the black) for the past four fiscal years and will continue to monitor revenue cuts with our expenditures and make the necessary adjustments so we do not have to ask for new money.  The District is subjected to a two year budget from the State of Ohio and I have to project for five years.  We will have to monitor the State budgeting process closely, especially the next biennial budget 2019-2020 to ensure financial prudency within the district.  I have encouraged anyone to come in and sit down and learn about the finances of the district and will continue to encourage this.


Statement #5 – Did you know the Board paid $17,000 for this election and the November election is free.  While the statement about the Board paying approximately $17,000 for the August election is true, the statement about the November election being free is completely untrue.  The November election will cost less money as there will be other issues on the ballot and the cost of opening the polls will be split among the entities with an interest/candidate/issue.  There will still be a cost to the November election for the District.  It was not an easy decision for the Board of Education to place the Bond on the August ballot, and the cost weighed heavily on their decision, but ultimately the Board of Education felt it was prudent to continue to move forward and get this levy passed for the betterment of the students and the education of the students.


Statement #6 – No comment.


As stated above I would encourage anyone to please know the facts.  Please do not believe what is being promulgated in this flyer.  The Superintendent, Board of Education, and I are always available to answer any questions and give the facts as we know them.


Jill Rowe, Treasurer Crestwood Local Schools.

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