JSD 117 Fund Balances Up; More Projects Possibly On the Table

By Benjamin Cox on March 20, 2023 at 1:51pm

Jacksonville School District 117’s fund balances appear to be running at a surplus.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek says that the balance is up over $6 million at this time: “We have been up between $6-6.5 million this year compared to last year. Last year, we were up $3-4 million. That’s all good news, especially with the year that we drastically increased our expenditures due to salaries, which we needed to, so that absolutely our staff at this time needed to be paid higher. We were anticipating a potential to break even or slight loss [in the budget]. Being up $6 million is really a positive sign that we can do some other projects and upgrades.”

Ptacek says that the reason the district is up is the Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) is up into record amounts. Last year, the district collected over $5.5 million in PPRT. The projection this year is for the district to collect $7.7 million in PPRT. So far during the year, the district has collected $4.4 million at 53% of the budget year. Ptacek says that some of the PPRT may be starting to level off: “[[PPRT]] did take a hit last month compared to last year’s PPRT. We’re still anticipating to be above last year’s total by a couple million dollars, and last year was a record-setting $5.5 million total. That’s compared to an average of $2.2-2.3 million in previous years. We could be up near $8 million in our PPRT, which might push that $6 million surplus higher with the last two payment we’re getting in PPRT. If it’s lower, it will eat into that surplus. I would anticipate us being at least $4 million higher than our fund balance ended last year, which now we can start talking about some projects with that…such as expansion of our Early Years program.”

He says the district is keeping an eye on the current financial turmoil; but the district only budgeted to receive $2.5 million in PPRT this year in case the windfall in money stopped. Ptacek says it still leaves enough money in the budget to do the projects and maintenance that the district needs to do if the money stops or comes in lower than the projection.

Ptacek says he also anticipates that the Consumer Price Index will be up again this year, which will allow the district to levy more taxes.

Being a tax-cap district by CPI, he says District 117 was able to get more money this year with CPI being over 8% when in year’s past it had ran in the 1-2% range. While he doesn’t know the percentage, Ptacek predicts that it will be 5% or more again this year.