WEEKLY REPORT #8
RTMSD Reaps $56 million in Budget Surpluses since 2011.
How does this happen?
In a nutshell:
Year after year, RTMSD reaps multi-million dollar surpluses. Each year, we see its spending is over-estimated and its tax revenue is under-estimated, leaving multiple millions of paid taxes unspent.
These are not small errors. The estimated spending and taxes are millions off of what actually occurs. And the millions quickly accumulate to tens of millions of surpluses -- $56.4 million since 2011!
Why doesn't the District's estimation improve after seeing their spending and tax estimates be wrong in the same direction, again and again? And, where does all of that money go?
Why do RTMSD Budget Surpluses Occur?
Spending will always increase, of course, and the School Board always approves the entire amount requested by the District.
But why is the spending always over-estimated, never once under-estimated? -- we'll talk next week about how schools are incentivized to estimate higher expenditures than they can spend.
RTMSD also always increases property taxes every year, even when there has been unspent money from the previous year, which could be used to pay for the needed additional spending.
Notice that for revenue, the District always under-estimates how much tax revenue will be collected (apart from the unpredictable period of the COVID-19 pandemic).
Again, we'll talk next week about "why" this occurs.
Together, these actions create very large surpluses annually -- almost $11.5 million in just the most recent two years which the District has reported.
Despite this "found money", the School Board approved its largest property tax increase during this entire 11-year span, during which it enjoyed $56,427,357 more in tax revenues than it spent.
Imagine what you could have done with your share of that $56 million, if the District had been content to tax you only for the money it needed to operate the school and maintain its facilities?
The incumbent School Board has approved every unneeded tax increase during the years of its tenure.
The MAKE THE RIGHT THINGS HAPPEN candidates for School Director PLEDGE to vote AGAINST every tax increase for which there has been surplus taxes collected which could pay for needed increases in spending.
TRANSPARENCY is essential for TRUST.
If the School District needs these large surpluses for some critical purpose, the need should be declared explicitly and debated publicly.
ISN'T IT TIME FOR TRANSPARENCY IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT?