A big thank you to Sherry Williamson, Treasurer and CFO, of the Auburn Career Center for her honesty and transparency in answering our questions. They are a very community minded organization, and graciously allow the use of their tremendous meeting facilities.
We recently asked Auburn Career Center some questions, here are their responses:
- We have completed a study comparing the real estate taxes billed in 2008 versus 2018 and we were surprised to see that Auburn JVSD has had a decrease in their funding from $3,832,073 to $3,451,162. This is a decrease of $380,911 (9.94%). Has the State of Ohio increased their funding to Auburn to make up the difference?
Answer: As a result of HB66, Auburn lost significant property valuation resulting in a loss of tax revenue. Originally, the legislation included a “hold harmless” clause so that the district was kept square. Over several state budget cycles, the TPP (Tangible personal property taxes) reimbursement languages was changed multiple times and Auburn is no longer getting any TPP reimbursement from the state. Auburn operates on its original 1.5 mills. I would suggest that you log on to our website:www.auburncc.org and go under the tab “About Auburn”, you will be able to see how Auburn began with only a few schools in Lake County and transitioned to what we are today with Geauga County schools now included. You may find it an interesting read. I know I did when I started here in 2014.
(Comment: Here is a link to House Bill 66 – interesting in that it was sponsored by State Representative Ron Young.
We will be seeing Ron Young tonight and will ask him some questions about this.)
2. We have also noticed that not all Lake County taxing districts pay real estate taxes to Auburn. What is the reason?
Answer: That is correct. Auburn has 11 associate school districts in Lake and Geauga counties: Berkshire, Cardinal, Chardon, Fairport, Painesville City, Kenston, Kirtland, Madison, Newbury, Perry and Riverside. Mentor’s vocational option is the Lake Shore Compact. Willoughby and West Geauga are participants of Excel TECC.
3. Can you give me the area that Auburn JVSD is supposed to provide services?
Answer: Lake and Geauga Counties and like many other school districts, we have an open enrollment policy.
4. Are students charged for any courses that they take at Auburn.
Answer: No, students do not have any out of pocket tuition at the high school level. That is handled between the school district and the career center. There may be a class supply fee or tool kit expense, etc. This is driven by the needs of the program. We do, however, have policy in place to assist families with a financial need with any fees and/or instructional requirements. In addition, we also have adult classes, much like a community college, where there is tuition, fees, equipment, etc.
(Comment: It appears that the public schools reimburse Auburn JVSD for their students that attend Auburn. So Auburn’s revenue stream is not solely from their real estate tax levy. We will have to follow up to determine if the entire $6,010 State amount is paid by the local school district.)
5. Are any of the students eligible for the early college credit program paid for by the school districts?
Answer: Yes, I have provided Auburn flyer.
Auburn Career Center Flyer
6. We are extremely concerned that we are pricing seniors and those living on fixed incomes out of their homes that they have worked all their lives to achieve. Are there any plans for a new levy to be placed on the ballot?
Answer: Not at this time.