By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison Schools’ expenses are projected to exceed the district’s revenues by fiscal year 2026 if additional revenue is not generated, according to the district’s latest five year forecast.
The district’s five year forecast shows a revenue surplus is expected in fiscal year 2022.
However, according to Groveport Madison Treasurer Felicia Drummey’s report in the five year forecast, “By the last year of the forecast (fiscal year 2026), the district is expected to have a revenue shortfall where expenditures are projected to be greater than revenue by $20.8 million. The district would need to cut its fiscal year 2026 projected expenses by 20.9 percent to balance its budget without additional revenue.”
The district’s cash balance is positive at year end fiscal year 2022 but is projected to worsen by fiscal year 2026.
“A worsening cash balance can erode the district’s financial stability over time,” said Drummey.
The district’s most recent operating levy was approved by voters in 2019 and it is set to expire in 2024. That five-year levy was a “no new taxes” levy and it was the renewal of an existing levy.
To compare the year end cash balances (which Drummey describes as being the district’s “savings account”), according to the five year forecast:
•The district’s cash balance with renewal/new levies would be - in 2022: $31.4 million; in 2023: $26.8 million; in 2024: $17.6 million; in 2025: $4.3 million; and in 2026: a negative $12.8 million.
•The district’s cash balance without renewal levies included would be – in 2022: $31.4 million; in 2023: $26.8 million; in 2024: $17.6 million; in 2025: $2.5 million; and in 2026: a negative $18.3 million.
According to the forecast, total revenue increased 2.02 percent annually during the past five years and is projected to decrease 1.25 percent annually through fiscal year 2026.
Total expenditures increased 1.92 percent annually during the past five years and are projected to increase 4.87 percent annually through fiscal year 2026.
The district’s existing five year renewal general operating levy is tentatively scheduled for the November 2024 ballot as that is latest date it can be approved for the district to start collecting money in 2025.