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.