At the Indian Hill Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, May 23, I shared an update of the District’s five-year financial forecast. This important planning tool is required by the Ohio Department of Education and presented twice a year, in November and May. The forecast aligns our income and expenses to our District’s current and future goals with respect to academics, operations, and facilities. This update will provide you a look at how our forecast has evolved based on three key variables: health insurance outlook, property value increase tax impact, and conservative fiscal management.
The District made an important decision this year that had a positive impact on helping mitigate increases in health insurance. The District’s health insurance consortium, of which I am a member of the board, issued a request for proposal (RFP) to ensure we secured the best possible service and rate within this competitive market. This move resulted in a projected aggregate renewal rate increase of only 4.5 percent, shaving 5.5 percent off our health insurance expenditures.
Property Value Increase
Owning real estate within the Indian Hill School District has proven to be an excellent investment for our taxpayers. With the upcoming property valuation this year, we anticipate our investors could see an increase of up to 30 percent in their property values due to the current state of the housing market within our District. While this is excellent news for stakeholders who will realize increased value, we want to make it clear that the rise in property value does not equate to the Indian Hill School District receiving equivalent additional funding. Our funding in this area will remain as previously projected. We are also watching the development of House Bill 1, which has the potential to devastate our District budget with a potential loss of $3.3 million due to the eradication of property tax allocation without replacement funds. We will continue to closely monitor this situation.
One point of celebration for all taxpayers is the tax reduction that will happen as our 2001 bond expires in 2027. You may remember back in 2019, a share of what residents paid on this bond expired – reducing the bond debt by 1.74 mills. Additionally, it is important to know that in 2016, the District refinanced those 2001 bonds to achieve taxpayer savings of $8.5 million. That savings for residents was in the form of reduced millage paid toward the bonds.
Additionally, we want to note that we completed the first calendar year for collecting on the combined operating and bond issue passed by the community on May 4, 2021. As a reminder, the bond issue is a 30-year financial commitment that generates an estimated $77 million for our facilities. The operational levy is a five-year commitment that generates an estimated $3.3 million per year for five years in operating funds with an option to place a renewal on a future ballot.
Continued Conservative Fiscal Management
We continue to look for opportunities to provide our taxpayers savings with attention to conservative fiscal management. This commitment was evidenced this past school year through the implementation of an Energy Savings Program, which guarantees more than $150,000 in savings annually; $300,000 in Ohio K-12 School Safety Grants Awarded for construction; $15,000 in grants for science, technology, engineering, and math through the Ohio STEM Learning Network STEM Classroom Grant program; and quick action by our Board of Education to lock in a long-term loan at 3.75 percent to cover potential construction overages due to inflation.
Ours is a story of fiscal responsibility without compromising the excellence you expect and deserve. Again, thank you for the continued support of our schools. You can count on continued timely financial updates. Should you have any questions about our District’s finances, please contact me directly.
Indian Hill Exempted Village School District
Posted May 24, 2023
Photo caption: Indian Hill School District CFO/Treasurer Mick Davis presented the five-year forecast during the May 2023 Board of Education meeting.