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Monroe Coming Out Better Financially in July
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 1:42:29 PM - Monroe Ohio
By: Kelley Thorpe

Happy Autumn! The holidays are upon us. I am planning Thanksgiving dinner and starting my Christmas shopping.

Two months of the 2008-2009 fiscal year are behind us and August finished somewhat better financially than July. While July was very lean, August brought our first tax advance. We should get most of the remaining half of our tax collections from the county auditor in September. Total cash in the bank at the end of August was $2,335,077 with $955,230 being available for the general operating fund.

For these first two months, Monroe has collected $3,074,842 in general fund revenues. The bulk of these receipts were from property tax collections – almost $1.8 million. State funding accounted for $797,400 in receipts and open enrollment brought in $155,700 so far. Monroe is going to be collecting a little over $400,000 in tangible personal property payments that were miscalculated by the state. In August, we received the first of three payments to correct this error.

General Fund expenditures for July and August totaled $2,742,203. As we have discussed in prior columns, salaries and benefits account for the bulk of these expenses and were $1.9 million for these past two months. Other general fund expenses were purchased services ($578,000), supplies and materials ($88,500), and capital outlay/equipment ($135,000).

One interesting way to look at our spending for the year is to compare what we have received and spent to what we have budgeted. By looking at this ratio, I can assess whether or not any anticipated revenues or expenses are skewed when compared to what we actually received or spent. This comparison is an excellent planning tool. At this point of the year, we have completed 16.67% of the year. For revenues, we have actually received 17.48% of our budgeted revenues anticipated for this year. Expenditures are at 16.23% of our budgeted expenses. So, our actuals are right in line with our estimates as of August 31st.

In September, we were notified that Governor Strickland has cut state budgets by $533 million; $23.9 million will be cut from the Ohio Department of Education budget. This will affect every district in Ohio this fiscal year. The ODE is supposed to have their budget cuts in place by October 1st. While this news is quite disconcerting, I was also notified that if the economy does not pick up, the governor is considering an additional $600,000 in cuts by next spring. At notified of the cuts to Monroe Local Schools. When I know, I will let you know.

Throughout September and October, I will continue to monitor the comparison of budget to actual and any ODE reductions in funding as I work on an updated Five-Year Forecast to be presented to the board in October. This will give us a real feel of Monroe’s financial health over the next few years. It is an important planning tool as we look in to 2010 and 2011 with three emergency levies up for renewal in those two years. These next few months will be crucial for Monroe as decisions are made as to how to handle these levies. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

Each month, I present a much more detailed financial report to the Board of Education at a regular board meeting. These reports are then posted to the Monroe Local School’s website under the Treasurer’s Department page. You can also access the most recent Five-Year Forecast, the last Tax Budget, and several other useful items on this site. I would encourage you to check it out at www.monroelocalschools.com.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about Monroe’s finances, please feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email. I can be reached at 539-2536 or kthorpe@monroelocalschools.com. 
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