Casinos giveth, the state takes away: City schools losing dollars overall for 2013-14
By SALLY BOYD
Gazette Neighbors Editor
There was good news and bad news at the January meeting of the Bellevue Board of Education.
The good news: The district will be receiving upwards of $250,000 from Ohio casino profits.
The bad: Despite that payoff, districts including Bellevue, will still be receiving less because of cutbacks in the state education budget.
District Treasurer Nancy Beier, using a PowerPoint presentation, detailed the “good” and “bad” news when the board met Thursday evening at Bellevue High School.
Casino revenues for the district, the first to be distributed by the Ohio Department of Taxation, will be $43,388.96 on Jan. 31. A second payment will come in August, she said, adding the year’s total is predicted at $240,000.
“We’ll see when that time comes,” Beier said, pointing out that the casino revenues were not counted in the forecast she presented to the board last fall.
According to Beier, 34 percent of the casino taxes are to go to Ohio school districts and are distributed based on enrollment. The remaining taxes are to be shared as follows: 51 percent to Ohio counties, based on population; five percent to casino host cities of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo; three percent to the Ohio Casino Control Commission; three percent to the Ohio State Racing Commission; two percent to Ohio law enforcement training; and two percent to Ohio gambling and substance abuse treatment.
“Unfortunately, what we are getting is still far less than what the state has taken away,” said Beier.
The treasurer said the local district will receive $58,000 less in property taxes this year compared to what was forecast for the current fiscal year of 2012–13. She stated her new forecast for the 2013–14 school year will reflect this drop in property taxes which are based on property valuations.
Beier provided a property value breakdown for the four counties included in the Bellevue School District. Both Sandusky and Huron Counties have seen a drop while Seneca County has remained the same and Erie County has actually climbed slightly.
Her figures show the property value comparisons as follow:
•Sandusky County –– $110,496,340 in 2012, a drop of $9,687,030 or eight percent from 2011’s value of $120,183,370.
•Huron County –– $82,734,470 in 2012, a drop of $2,400,760 or three percent from 2011’s value of $85,135,230.
•Seneca County — $34,889,740 in 2012, an increase of $68,070 or zero percent from 2011’s value of $34,821,670.
•Erie County — $18,273,280 in 2012, an increase of $897,900 or five percent from 2011’s value of $17,375,380.
The 2012 values for the district properties in all four counties are $246,393,830, a drop of $11,121,820 or four percent from 2011’s total of $257,515,650.
In other financial news, Beier said the district is holding its own and will be filing the annual Estimated Tax Revenue report with the Sandusky County Budget Commission, the purpose of which is to demonstrate the need to levy property taxes to cover the estimated expenditures for the upcoming budget year (July 1, 2013 — June 30, 2014).
“From this report, the county budget commission will approve the tax rates that will be levied on behalf of the school district. Their tax rate resolution will be received in the spring and brought to the Board of Education for your approval,” Beier said.
The board, which moved its regular monthly meeting night up one week in order to also hold the required reorganizational meeting, conducted the latter first on Thursday, re-electing Dr. Ted Clark as president of the board and Diane Streeter as vice president. Both were sworn in by Beier before the regular agenda was addressed.