As we move into November, the potential for education funding changes are very obvious. We don’t really know how the recent ruling on motor vehicle taxes will affect distributions, and the possible revenue increase from 779 (if it passes) along with the increased likelihood of a fiscal year revenue failure will make this a very different spring. As we prepare for all of these eventualities, it is important to be working toward finding a consistent budgeting model to accommodate these eventualities.
Let’s look at the primary issues that are facing us in the immediate future:
- State sales tax collections are continuing a downward trend from year to year.
- Oil and gas have not shown an increase in several months, even though futures prices have moved upward.
- Motor vehicle and gross production are still lagging.
- REA has shown some recovery.
- We continue to see growth in ad valorem and County 4-Mill.
- We will probably see an increase in WADM at mid-term. We are projecting a move from 1,123,000 WADM to 1,129,000 WADM based on SDE budgeting from last year and our data on the highest three years.
As we move into the spring and prepare to set budgets for FY 18, it is important that you are cognizant of the current situation but also aware of the future situation. We won’t know until after the election how the money will be distributed to districts if 779 passes, and preparation for the following year as soon as this knowledge is passed on to districts is essential for future budgeting.
We should have a better picture after the next payments from motor vehicles on how the motor vehicle formula will be changed and what year will be used as the protected ADA percentage. OPSRC will have the historical data for you to compare your collections, and we will be pulling down the November, December and January payments from the Tax Commission for your ease in comparison. We don’t really know what the net effect of the court ruling will be until we see the data. We do know there will be 311 districts receiving relief and about 75 districts that will have an adjustment to their actual payments.
If you need anything please feel free to contact me by email.