XENIA — The Xenia Community School District recently received a pair of prestigious awards from the Government Finance Officers Association.
After an independent review of financial reports submitted for fiscal year 2016, the district received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR), and an Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting (PAFR) for its annual financial report.
The award won for the 220-page CAFR is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, according to a letter sent to Treasurer Eric Soltis by the GFOA. The reports act as an audit of the school district’s finances.
“We are doing our job to to maximum level of efficiency and accuracy … in the eyes of the GFOA,” Soltis said.
He added that it’s possibly the first time the district has won an award for a CAFR.
“We believe in full disclosure to keep our citizens informed in what we are doing,” Superintendent Denny Morrison said.
The awards were announced at the June 21 finance committee meeting, during which Soltis presented a tax comparison of all Montgomery and Greene county school districts. Of the 23 compared by Rockmill Financial Consulting, Xenia had the sixth lowest annual tax based on a $100,000 property and a median household income. With a gross tax rate of 47.6 mills and an effective rate of 37.44 mills, Xenia taxpayers paid $1,532. That number includes the .5 percent income tax as well.
“We believe that district taxpayers are getting a significant value for the dollar that you’re paying,” Soltis said.
The lowest is Jefferson Local School district at $1,064. Oakwood is the highest at $2,609. Greeneview ($1,416), Fairborn ($1,478), and Beavercreek ($1,530) are Greene County districts lower than Xenia.
“We’re not the lowest,” Superintendent Denny Morrison said. “(But) we’re giving a pretty good bang for the buck.”
Soltis also compared the cash balance for the end of each fiscal year since 2011. The district is on track to have its highest balance during that time, as the May 31 number showed a cash balance of $23,570, 975. It ended 2016 with $20,154,826. The 2011 balance was just $1,412,846.
“This is what I feel is direct evidence to say, ‘Yes, we have managed well,’ ” Soltis said.
But don’t expect the district to just sit on that money.
“Money in the bank doesn’t educate kids,” Morrison said, adding that the district is going to be adding staff and programs next year.
“We’ve got to do the things that we need to,” he said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.