Says schools 'have never beenin better financial condition'
As a good citizen, I have studied school finance for the past 22 years. As a retired CPA, it looks to me like the Twinsburg schools have never been in better financial condition.
Yet, now they want more. Threats by school officials to cut programs if a levy fails is Scare Tactics 101 in the levy passage playbook. Threats of a state takeover is standard Scare Tactic 102.
With what I've found to be a record $31.2 million in surplus cash reserves last June 30, money is just rolling in. In recent years, there has been a large, visible increase in both residential and commercial construction in the area. This is greatly increasing their real estate tax base.
Another source of funds is their capital improvement fund, where a separate tax brings in about $2 million a year. This money is supposed to be used for larger building and grounds repairs. Surprisingly, they also use it to pay for regular textbooks. This is so the general fund can be saved primarily to pay ever-rising employee salaries and benefits.
In recent years, funding from Ohio has been fairly stable. The basic reason the schools say they need more taxes is that their 5-year forecast shows a decline in future local revenues.
What I believe this half-truth fails to disclose is the forecast shows no revenue from the three renewal levies that bring in $13.6 million annually, after each one is up for renewal. Including the revenues from these virtually automatic renewals, they will likely have tens of millions more than the forecast shows.
Issue 15 on May 2 would be a huge 25 percent increase in school taxes forever. Tell them "no more" on this apparent rip-off by insatiable school officials.
Jerry Polster, Twinsburg