HCCSC income numbers also down this year

The numbers tossed around at the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Nov.23, could suggest HCCSC finances are following those of the city of y, but Assistant Superintendent for Business David McKee says that the circumstances are different.

As of about a week and a half ago, Huntington County has collected only 87 percent of property taxes when it usually has 97 percent at this time, McKee explained.
The school corporation expected to receive $13,105,714 for the current year, but is facing an 18 percent decrease in revenue, amounting to $2,296,138.

Because the school corporation has a wider tax base than the city of Huntington, McKee explained later, the schools' problems are "softened."

McKee said he thinks the money that is lost is gone, and he's not sure how to go about the process of retrieving lost revenue, if it can even be done.

He says the school corporation never gets 100 percent of what is expected, but adds that "this is substantial."

"(A) 10 percent increase in unpaid property taxes, that's just so contrary to what you've always thought. People always seem to find a way to pay their property taxes, because of all the problems that come when you don't do that. But I guess these are unusual times and eventually it affects people's ability to pay on their property," McKee said during the meeting.

McKee also said after the meeting that teachers will not be laid off as a result of this reduction.

The general fund will be affected if the state of Indiana runs into a "shortfall of revenue," McKee adds, noting that Gov. Mitch Daniels has protected the kindergarten-through-12th grade budget so far. Anything the state does directly impacts the teachers, he explains.

He says the cash-balance that carries the corporation in two six-month increments in the year is wiped out going into 2010, and that the schools will have to borrow money from the banks until administrators learn what kind of money the county has for them.

"At the end of 2009, we are going to have to be very careful (regarding purchases)," McKee said during the meeting, adding the biggest impact will come in 2010.