During our June 8 Board of Education meeting Rossford Schools Treasurer James Rossler Jr. gave a financial update to board members and the community. It boiled down to three main points coming from the pandemic economic turmoil: our state funding is uncertain at best; we need to keep a close eye on residential and commercial real estate; and that the five-year forecast is good, but beginning to show long-term distress.
State funds rely on tax revenues to function, and with a
large reduction in sales, fuel, casino and income taxes from the pandemic the
state is looking at a large reduction in revenue. The pandemic will lead to
state reductions, Mr. Rossler said. Rossford Schools funding was cut by roughly
$360,000 this year already, but Mr. Rossler is expecting a much higher
percentage cut next year. Funds could be cut by $750,000, or 25 percent of what
the district receives from the state.
Mr. Rossler also talked with the County Auditor and others
about possible losses in residential and commercial taxes through delinquencies
which typically occur during economic struggles. The last recession in 2008 led
to a 4 percent delinquency rate. If that happened again that would lead to a
delayed collection of as much as $680,000.
Prior to the pandemic Rossford Schools was anticipating
having revenues exceed expenditures until 2024. But in light of the cuts listed
above, and possible additional costs ensuring safety for our students during
the pandemic, our expenditures should exceed our revenues by 2021. Then by 2024
we could be seeing a $2 million annual deficit.
"At that rate it won't take long to devour any
carryover balance," Treasurer Rossler said.
Mr. Rossler will continue monitoring future revenues to see
how the pandemic's economic downfall effects Rossford Schools and work to
continue the district's strong fiscal health.