By Rick Palsgrove
Property valuations in Franklin County have increased, which has an impact on school systems’ revenues.
“We expected values would grow, but, wow, did property values grow,” said Groveport Madison Schools Treasurer Felicia Drummey.
Drummey told the Groveport Madison Board of Education at its March 23 meeting that countywide, according to Franklin County officials, there is a 20 percent median increase in residential values and 15 percent median increase in commercial property values.
“That is a large increase,” said Drummey.
Drummey reported that, within the Groveport Madison district boundaries, total residential property values are at $630 million and industrial property values are at $243 million. Overall the taxable property values in the district are at $1.1 billion.
However, Drummey noted that the voted millage on the district’s existing operating levy is 60.26 mills, while the effective millage that is actually collected for residential/agricultural is at 31.33 mills and 38.75 mills for commercial properties.
“We only collect about half of the voted millage due to House Bill 920 that reduces voted mills to eliminate inflationary growth,” said Drummey.
Voted millage is any millage outside what is provided by the Ohio Constitution. This is millage is voted in by the public. Effective millage is the millage rate that is actually levied on property.
Drummey said new construction provides the most beneficial property tax situation for the district because the schools get the full voted rate for such properties the first year and then later get growth on the base.
“New construction is good for jobs, good for the community, and it’s one the main areas of growth the school district can get aside from inflationary adjustments the county auditor establishes for property values or a levy,” said Drummey.
She said the challenge when formulating the district’s financial forecast is to make the best prediction on what will happen with property values in the future – will they go up, go down, or stay the same.
“Two key factors impacting future revenue projections are inflation and new construction,” said Drummey.
Modular at Groveport Elementary
Groveport Madison Assistant Superintendent Jamie Grube informed the board of plans to replace the aging modular, two classroom unit at Groveport Elementary.
He said the modular is 12-to 14-years-old, in poor condition, and is leased by the district for $1,200 a month.
“It’s the only modular we do not own,” said Grube, who noted the district does own the modulars set up at Asbury, Dunloe, and Sedalia elementaries.
Grube said the goal is to purchase and install a modular four classroom unit, that includes restrooms and a covered walkway, to replace the old one at Groveport Elementary this summer. He said the district is looking at possibly purchasing a two-year-old unit for $200,000 and that it would cost another $200,000 to install it.
“This is half the purchase cost of a buying a new modular unit,” said Grube.
Grube said he will check with vendors regarding appropriate pricing and bring the proposal to the board for a decision at its April 13 meeting.