At the March 26 school board meeting, I made a presentation of the Certified Budget Proposal for 2018-19. This is the budget that sets the Nevada Community School’s tax levy and maximum amounts to be spent for the new school year. The information will, once again, be reviewed on Monday, April 9, at the Budget Public Hearing, revised if the board deems it necessary, and approved for submission to the state by April 15.
The first part of the report I gave the board is “School Funding 101.” The school has five groups of funds: 1) the General Fund, which is State Aid via State Income Taxes, Property Taxes and Miscellaneous Income — this pays for salaries, books, supplies and other operating expenses; 2) Capital Project Funds, which is property taxes and the one-cent local option sales tax — this pays for facility improvements, bond payments and equipment purchases; 3) the Management Fund, which is property taxes and pays for property and liability insurance and early retirement benefits; 4) the Nutrition Fund, which pays for student and staff meals in school and 5) the Student Activity Fund pays for activities not covered by fees.
The 2018-19 funding for the General Fund is based on Certified Enrollment in the Schools on Oct. 1, 2017. This year, Nevada’s enrollment was down 57 students from the previous year. The funding that kicks in for schools with a decrease in enrollment is called the Budget Guarantee. The Budget Guarantee is property tax that provides 101 percent of the regular program district cost from the current fiscal year. The cost to taxpayers for this: $376,327.
A review of General Fund revenues shows that 2018-19 revenues will be down slightly from the current year’s revenues, despite the Budget Guarantee above. Two steps that were taken recently to lessen expenditures for 2018-19: 1) not filling some vacant positions due to resignation or retirement; and 2) putting a one-year early retirement incentive in place — those who would retire this year would receive 100 percent of the benefit coming to them, rather than an allotment of $100,000 total benefit between all retirees.
The financial condition of the school remains good. The solvency ratio of the school, as of June 30, 2017, was 12.8 percent. The target range for this ratio is between 5 percent and 10 percent. Last school year saw an erosion of Spending Authority, which will have to be monitored closely in the future. Spending Authority is monitored by the state and cannot go negative for more than two years in a row. A mix of continued low increases in the State Supplementary Aid percentage and decreased enrollment will be difficult for the school.
The total tax levy being recommended for 2018-19 is unchanged from the current year and will be recommended at $16.81478 per $1,000 taxable valuation. Due to the state rollback on values, the homeowner may see a slight decrease in school district taxes.
If you would like a copy of the report that I gave to the school board on March 26, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Schaeffer is the business manger for Nevada Schools.