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Superintendent's Message Minimize

Good News for Antwerp Local School District Property Owners:

The Paulding County Budget Commission, which consists of the Paulding County Auditor, Paulding County Treasurer and the Prosecuting Attorney, met and reduced the Antwerp Local School Bond millage from 4.95 mills to 3.00 mills for the 2014 tax year. This will result in an estimated savings of $68.25 annually on a $100,000 valuation for the Antwerp Local School District Residents.

On November 7, 2000, the Antwerp Local School District voters passed a 4.95 mill, 23 year bond issue for the purpose of: to pay the local share of school construction under the State of Ohio Classroom Facilities Assistance Program. Meaning a bond levy was passed to generate revenue to pay for the construction of a new K-12 School. Those tax monies collected can only be used to pay for the debt of the construction of the new school building. This tax revenue cannot be used for general operating expenses, including salaries and benefits.

Because the interest rates were at an all-time low, the Antwerp Board of Education approved a bond refinance last year. Basically, it is just like your home mortgage loan and when the current interest rates are lower than the interest rate was when you took out the loan, you refinance your home mortgage loan and save yourself on interest that you would have paid over the life of the loan. By refinancing the bond issue, it saved the taxpayers of this district approximately $234,042 in interest that they would have had to pay on that higher interest rate. That money could only have been used to pay-off the debt of the school building.

The Paulding County Budget Commission annually reviews the cash balance of the bond fund, the estimated bond tax collections from the taxpayers, and the principal and interest payments that the district must pay-out annually. That Committee felt that our bond fund balance is high enough to lower the amount collected by the taxpayers from 4.95 mills to 3 mills for the next tax collection year. This is not to say the mills collected will stay at 3 mills. The Budget Commission may look at this again next year or future years and it could be possible that the delinquent taxes are higher than normal and Budget Commission would have to increase the mills to be able to have enough tax revenue coming in that we have enough in that fund to cover our principal and interest payments.

When this debt is finally paid in 2022, we will no longer have a bond levy and will no longer receive tax revenue for this bond issue. The County Auditor will make sure the collections in the last few years will only be enough to cover the payments due. At the end of this loan, the balance in this fund would be zero.

This is not saying that the Antwerp Local School District is a "wealthy" district. In fact, the district is considered a rural - low poverty district by the Ohio Department of Education and the district is at 37% free and reduced rate. The Antwerp Local School Board of Education, Administration, and Staff are continuously looking for ways to reduce cost and to be fiscally responsible for all funds managed by the school district. We work very hard at providing a top-quality education on a very low budget.

What exactly is a bond issue and how is it different from a regular tax levy?

Bond levies and tax levies are among the ways Ohio school districts can fund education. Both bonds and tax levies are paid through property taxes and both require approval from voters who live within the district’s boundaries. Under current Ohio law, voter-approved levies do not increase with inflation.

A bond levy raises money that, by law, can be used only for capital costs —building construction and/or renovations, and vehicle and equipment purchases. The district sells bonds to investors, uses that money and then pays it back to investors over a specific period of time (such as 30 years). Bond Issues do not pay or provide for staff salaries or any general fund or other fund expenses. A regular tax levy generates money to pay a district’s operating costs, such as salaries, equipment, utilities, etc. under Ohio's system of school funding.


Yours in education,

Pat Ross

 


Superintendent Minimize

Picture of Mrs. Ross
Mrs. Pat Ross 
Superintendent
  

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