Archbold, OH
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School Tax Levy: Renew In 2011?

Voters in the Archbold Area School District may be asked to renew a $1.1-million emergency property tax levy.

In order to receive an uninterrupted flow of money from the levy, voters must approve a renewal sometime during the 2011 calendar year.

That’s what Christine Ziegler, Archbold Area School District treasurer, told school board members at their Monday night, May 17 meeting.

School district officials also discussed the possibility of a new property tax levy in the next five or more years.

Approved by school district voters in 2006 as a fiveyear levy, the school district began receiving money from the emergency levy in 2007. If the levy is not renewed, revenue from the levy will end in 2012, said Brett Kolb, Fulton County auditor.

If the emergency levy is not renewed, the school district begins spending more than it receives in tax revenues during the 2010-11 school year, which is also the 2011 fiscal year.

Ziegler projects the district will end the 2009-10 school year with about $4.8 million in the bank. Without the levy renewal, the district is projected to end 2012-13 with about $1.6 million.

Without the levy renewal, Ziegler predicts the district will end 2013-14 close to $1.9 million in debt.

It must be noted that any future figures are projections, or estimates, based on the best information available. The farther into the future a projection goes, the less accurate it will be.

With Passage

If the board places a renewal of the $1.1-million levy on the ballot, and if voters approve it, Ziegler predicts deficit spending will be staved off through the 2012- 13 school year. In 2013-14, the district is anticipated to spend $1.8 million more than it takes in.

She also predicted the district will make it through the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year in the black. But at the end of 2013-14, there will only be about $800,000 in the bank– not enough to cover one month of expenses.

Another Levy?

David Deskins, district superintendent, said while the forecasts are far into the future, the renewal of the emergency levy may only buy the district one year before the board must go back to district voters for additional operating funds.

In a Tuesday morning interview, Ziegler said, “If we do just the renewal, the way the projection looks today… it ($1.1-million levy) will not be enough to get us through another five-year cycle.”

State Support

Ziegler was critical of the State of Ohio’s financial support of schools.

She said there are those who believe the state will not be able to meet its fi- nancial obligation for school funding.

In fact, she said some believe the only way the state is meeting its obligations is through American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) money, commonly known as economic stimulus money.

The district will receive $205,454 in stimulus money during 2009-10, and $290,435 during 2010-11. After that, the money disappears.

“What’s really key in looking forward to the levy in 2011 is not knowing where the state is at relative to the dollars, and we don’t know until the 11th hour, usually in May,” she said.

On a brighter note, Ziegler said utility costs had been reduced dramatically after the district began buying electricity from Toledo Edison at a higher voltage, known as primary power.

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