Assessment and Aid

Something that’s really unique about school budgeting is we not only talk about the expenditure needs that walk in the door, we also have to budget the revenue to fund the needs. We have three main revenue factors that impact our budget.

First is, each year we are required to go through a process to develop the budget Lincoln Public Schools has a long-standing three-year forecast that has the priorities of ensuring sustainability and minimizing surprises. Our board of education wants every decision they make to be sustainable into the future.

In Lancaster County, which is a little bit unique, our assessor historically has revalued property, that means adjusting property to the market rate once every three years. The three-year forecast is the way that we navigate the swings in the property value. Our

In Lancaster County, which is a little bit unique, our assessor historically has revalued property, that means adjusting property to the market rate once every three years. The three-year forecast is the way that we navigate the swings in the property value. Our three-year forecast model takes into account property valuation growth in future years.

The most recent revalue, with the market correction, was in the forecast as we prepared for the forecast for this year, it was just in the forecast one year later. So as we revised our forecast, we had property in the forecast planned for that we moved up a year to the current year valuation model.

The property value and the amount of state aid we receive from sales and income tax are interconnected. When property value goes up, our demand for sales and income tax from the state goes down so state aid is then reduced. In addition, the state faced a budget shortfall this past year and they reduced state aid and did not allow it to grow as it would’ve grown.

So, for example, Lincoln Public Schools did not receive full funding from the state we received an increase that was less than one-quarter of one percent or $271,000. So, when you have a very minimal, if not, flat funding stream from the state our growing funding stream that we have available comes from the property value growth.

Looking at that formula, we do anticipate with the growth in value that will impact our state aid next year and in future years. So, we have to look at three years at a time to navigate the swings in revenue to provide the sustainability we want to have in programs for families and students.