School finance isn't typically at the top of everyone's mind with so many other issues and busy schedules competing for your attention. Rest assured that Marysville Schools is constantly looking for ways to offer a top notch education to our students while keeping a close eye on the budget. You may not be aware that the average per pupil cost to educate a Marysville student is $11,698, which is well below the state average of $13,387. Even with annual enrollment growing by over 100 students per year on average and record inflation, we have been able to maintain our high level of service without asking taxpayers for new money. You may remember back in 2018 that the district renewed an existing levy (meaning it did not create new revenue) and made a promise that we wouldn't be back on the ballot until 2022 for a new money levy. Through conservative planning and effective use of grant funds, we were able to extend that levy promise until 2023. In January 2023, the Marysville School Board approved to go on the May 2, 2023 ballot for a 8.4 mill Five Year Emergency Operating Levy. The driving force behind the need for this levy is that district operating revenue has been relatively flat and in fact is projected to decline despite our growing enrollment.
The two main sources of our operating revenue are local and state funding. Our local funding comes from tax revenues, such as provided by the upcoming levy. The last new money levy the district passed was in 2008 so we have stretched that last new money levy for 15 years. The main reason we don't see significant growth in our local revenue is due to a law known as House Bill 920. This law basically locks down revenue from school levies so that schools will not receive more income when property values rise, meaning that a local school levy produces a fixed number of dollars while costs tend to rise with growth and inflation over time. This also protects taxpayers from unvoted tax increases. While local funding has been relatively flat, our state funding has actually been decreasing in total. One source of our state funds is the state foundation funding formula, otherwise known as per pupil funding. As you've likely heard me say in the past, the state views Marysville as a relatively wealthy community as compared across the state so that the funding formula is not favorable for funding increases to the district. On top of that, the Tangible Personal Property Tax reimbursement funding provided by the state began phasing out in 2016, decreasing by $500k-$600k annually. This funding will be completely gone next year which equates to a loss of $5.6 million and is the equivalent of having a 5 mill levy wiped off our books.
While we are fortunate to have a strong cash balance this year, with flat and/or declining revenue going forward, the May 2023 levy will be necessary to avoid a cash deficit in the coming years. If you have any questions regarding the levy or school finance, please contact me.