SCS Renewal Levy (March 19 Ballot)
Since 2019, the last time Strongsville City Schools had a renewal on the ballot, the Auditor of State has established new guidelines with regard to school levies and how information can be shared from Ohio school districts to local communities for ballot issues. It is important that Strongsville City Schools provides the facts for upcoming ballot issues. The information highlighted below is intended to assist our community members in making an informed decision.
CLICK HERE to view the recent virtual "Community Conversation" about Issue 25 (SCS Renewal Levy)
CLICK HERE for the slide presentation from the recent "Community Conversation" about Issue 25 (SCS Renewal Levy)
What is the SCS Renewal Levy (Issue 25) on the March 19 ballot?
Strongsville City Schools seeks the renewal of a 5.9 mill operating levy that was initially approved by voters in May 2019. This was the first time new operating money was authorized by the voters since November 2007.
How much revenue will the Renewal Levy generate for SCS?
The renewal of the 5.9 mill operating levy will generate approximately $9.9 million per year.
How will the Renewal Levy impact community members?
A renewal levy is a continuation of a previously approved levy, which means there will be no impact/increase to your current taxes.
What is the ballot language for the Renewal Levy?
A renewal of tax for the benefit of Strongsville City School District for the purpose of current expenses and that the county fiscal officer estimates, will collect $9,854,000 annually, at a rate not exceeding 5.9 mills for each $1 of taxable value. This amounts to $179 per year / $14.92 per month / $3.44 per week for each $100,000 of county fiscal officers appraised value*, beginning in 2024, first due in calendar year 2025.
* To locate your total auditor assessed value, visit https://myplace.cuyahogacounty.us/
Is the District maintaining a large cash balance?
At the close of fiscal year 2023, the ending cash balance within the general operating fund was $46.1 million. During fiscal year 2023, through the work and recommendation of the District’s Finance Committee (a group comprised of local community members and business professionals), the Board of Education adopted a new cash balance reserve policy to address minimums and maximums within the general operating fund. During the adoption of the policy, the Board approved a general operating fund transfer of $25 million to a capital projects fund for future capital projects. The District’s Cash Balance Reserve Policy can be found at https://tinyurl.com/CBRPolicy.
The general operating fund five year forecast for fiscal year 2024 was approved at the November 21, 2023 Board of Education meeting with the following: estimated revenues of $88.9 million and estimated expenditures of $86.3 million. This equates to estimated revenues over estimated expenditures of $2.6 million. For additional information on these budget details, visit the Treasurer’s Department page on our District’s website (https://www.strongnet.org/departments/treasurer) and click on “Financial Reports.”
This is the second time this Renewal Levy is appearing on a ballot. Did the District consider revising the Renewal Levy and asking for a smaller amount?
Yes, revising the Renewal Levy was considered and an analysis was completed comparing the full renewal to a half renewal (see graphic below). Based on the comparisons, the full renewal is recommended as the half renewal would deteriorate the District's financial position at an accelerated rate and would most likely result in an additional ask of the voters during the 2026 school year for additional monies compared to delaying this ask until the 2028 school year. The full renewal extends the ask for new money a few years longer with a lesser gap to close.
Additionally, when considering the effects of a half levy:
- A half levy would decrease revenues by $4.9 million annually, accelerating the deficit spending each year and resulting in a larger gap to close to balance the budget.
- A half levy would reduce cash by $16.9 million over the course of the five year forecast, leaving a cash balance of $7.2 million in the fifth year of the forecast (FY 2028). Within the same year (FY 2028), our District would have to deficit spent by $14.1 million, which would most likely result in a cash deficit in FY 2029.
- A half levy would drop the Days Cash on Hand below the 90 days minimum in FY 2027 to 79 days and then to 26 days in FY 2028. The full renewal would drop the Days Cash on Hand below the 90 days minimum by 3 days in FY 2028.
- A half levy would reduce the millage amount by $89.52 annually per $100,000, or by .25 cents per day.
What has the District invested in, utilizing proceeds from the operating levy (approved in May 2019) ,as well as other District resources?
Click on each 'plus' sign below to see the details for each (Academics, Arts, Athletics, Well-Being, Financial).