FAQ Document

What is on the November 8, 2022 ballot?

  • A 4.9 mill property tax levy will be on the ballot.

  • The levy is 4.65 mills for operations and 0.25 mills for permanent improvements.

  • The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an estimated additional $14.29 per month beginning in January of 2023 if the levy is approved.

    • The taxable property value is equal to 35-percent of its value as assessed by the county auditor.

  • Unlike state and federal taxes, all funds from this local levy stay in Rocky River.

What is an operating levy?

  • Operating levies provide school districts money to be used for day-to-day expenses, such as salaries, supplies, utilities, transportation, activities and programming.

Why do some levies also include a piece for Permanent Improvement funds?

  • A Permanent Improvement levy is used for improvement projects, maintenance and repairs of school property that are designed to last five years or more.

  • Permanent Improvement funds allow the district to continue providing first-rate facilities for our students, staff and community to use year-after-year.

  • Funds generating by a permanent improvement levy cannot be used for operating expenses, such as personnel, benefits and instructional supplies.

Why a 4.9 mill levy now?

  • Based on current financial projections (Five Year Forecast), the district is in need of additional funding starting in 2023.

  • The levy will permit the district to maintain its high-quality academic programs, activities and athletics for all students.

When was the last levy passed?

  • November of 2017 - 4.9 mills (4.4 mills for operations and 0.5 mills for permanent improvement).

  • As a result of House Bill 920, the effective millage from this levy has been reduced from 4.9 mills to 3.48 mills.

Why does the district rely on continuing levies?

  • Continuing levies provide a reliable funding source for schools and is the way a majority of Ohio public schools fund their operations and improvements.

  • They allow the district to plan for future needs, continue essential services, maintain high-quality programming and provide the academic, extra-curricular and support resources needed for student success.

Did the district receive Federal and/or State COVID-19 relief funds?

  • Yes, ESSER funds, provided after the decision to place a levy on the May 2021 ballot, helped to operate the district following the failed levy.

  • Without the ESSER funds, budget cuts and reduced programs and services for students would have resulted.

How will the operation portion of the continuing levy funds be used?

  • Continue offering high-quality academic programs for all students.

  • Maintain facilities that meet best-practices for learning, health and safety needs.

  • Continue current activities and athletics programs for students.

  • Support current staffing levels to maintain effective class sizes.

  • Continue planning and implementing new course offerings.

  • Follow refresh plans for state-of-the-art instructional materials.

  • Maintain and repair district equipment and facilities.

How will the permanent improvement portion of the continuing funds be used?

  • Permanent improvement funds can only be used for facilities and equipment that has an expected use of five years or more.

  • Continue facilities maintenance plans (buildings, HVAC, roofs, electrical, parking lots, etc.).

How has the district managed costs?

  • The district has, within the last five years, executed two advance refundings (refinancing) of a portion of its outstanding bonded debt.

  • Bond refinancing in 2021 provided a total savings of $1,270,000 through 2040.

  • The 2017 refinancing of outstanding bonds resulted in 1.0 mill direct reduction to taxpayers starting in January of 2022.

  • Used state bids, consortiums and Rocky River City collaborations to reduce costs (e.g. fuel, salt, turf).

  • Implemented facilities maintenance programs (e.g. roofing systems, HVAC, flooring).

  • Completed energy efficiency audit resulting in $171,000 in savings annually; used savings to pay for new energy saving equipment.

  • Saved approximately $150,000 a year with healthcare consortium membership.

  • Offered early retirement incentives and healthcare cost sharing to manage personnel costs.

  • School support organizations - PTAs, Rocky River Education Foundation, Booster Clubs - fundraise and donate annually to assist the district in providing exceptional opportunities.

  • Reduced one administrative staff position in the fall of 2019, merging the facility department with the HR and support staff department.