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November 6 Ballot Issue » Grandview Yard FAQ

Grandview Yard FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Grandview Yard and Issue 6

 

Q. How is Grandview Yard already impacting the school district’s bottom line?

A. Grandview Yard is currently expected to generate $77 million in operating funds over the next 22 years for the school district.  The annual amount currently represents about eight percent of the school district’s operating budget and is used to help offset day-to-day expenses including teachers, utilities, and supplies.  This is the primary reason the operating levy request of 1-mill on the November 6 ballot is the lowest in more than 70 years. 

 

Q. I heard the school district is going to receive additional money from Grandview Yard.  Can that money fund the facilities plan?

A.  At the recommendation of the community Financial Advisory Committee, the school district has been actively working with the City of Grandview Heights and Nationwide Realty, Ltd. since February 2018 in an effort to offset the cost of the district’s facility project.  While no formal agreement has been reached, we are optimistic about this opportunity and will continue to work diligently on this effort.  If additional funding is secured, the Grandview Heights Schools Board of Education has already taken unanimous action to ensure those funds help pay the debt on the bond issue and reduce the burden on taxpayers.

 

Q.  If an agreement is reached to provide more funding from Grandview Yard, does that eliminate the need for the bond levy?

A. No. Based on current estimates, the cost of the new bond issue could be reduced by as much as 40-50 percent.  While this is great news, it does not eliminate the need for Issue 6.

 

Q. Why can’t we just wait, why is Issue 6 needed now?

A. Issue 6 is the most cost-effective plan to address the district’s serious facility needs.  Funds from this issue are needed regardless of the outcome of the Grandview Yard negotiations.  In addition, renovation and construction costs only continue to rise, so delaying this issue only ends up costing taxpayers millions of dollars more.

 

Q  If an agreement is reached, does this create a windfall for the school district?

A.  No.  The school district would receive additional revenue on an annual basis for the remaining term of the Grandview Yard TIF agreement, which is approximately 20 years.  That funding would be used annually to reduce the bond millage charged to residents.  So the school district is only collecting and taxpayers are only paying what is necessary and outlined in Issue 6.

 

Q.  If the district receives additional funding from Grandview Yard, will the November 6th ballot be changed to reduce the millage needed on the bond levy?

A.  No. Even if an agreement is reached, Grandview Heights Schools would still be required to issue the full $55.25 million in debt to fund the facilities.  A voted bond issue is the cheapest form of financing permanent improvements.  State law does not allow the ballot on a bond issue to be modified (e.g. reduced) to reflect other potential sources of funds to pay the debt charges. So while additional funds would be used to offset the cost to taxpayers, Ohio law requires the bond millage to remain the same.

 

Q.  It seems unusual to ask voters to approve a bond issue for an amount higher than what might be collected?

A.  This is actually a common financing tool.  The City of Columbus does almost all of its capital improvements as voted bonds, even though they never levy the corresponding property tax.  Those debt charges are paid from utility and income tax revenue, but it's done as a bond issue to get a better bond rating and lower interest rate.

 

Q.  How would the bond millage actually get reduced?

A.  Each year the County Auditor requires the school district treasurer to certify the required debt payments for the following year and the amount of additional revenue available to offset those payments.  This is where the new Grandview Yard funding would be reported.  The County Auditor then sets the millage for the remaining amount needed to pay the debt.  This process would occur each year of the bond levy.

 

Q.  How can I be sure it will be used for that purpose?

A.  The Grandview Heights Schools Board of Education has unanimously approved a resolution ordering the school district to use any additional funds from the Grandview Yard Development for the debt payments on the bond issue.

 

Q. What if an agreement is not reached by all parties?

A.  Then the cost to taxpayers for Issue 6 will remain at $239 per $100,000 of property valuation.

 

Q. When will we know if an agreement has been reached?

A.  There is no set timeline for this negotiations.  There are many steps to this process and legal details to address.  However, Grandview Heights Schools is committed to do everything we can to pursue this opportunity for our residents.

 

Last Updated October 16, 2018