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Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

At a final budget hearing scheduled for Monday, Sept. 9, at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Chambers of the Lake County Administration Building, located at 315 W. Main St., Tavares, the Lake County School Board will consider the proposed 2013-2014 fiscal year budget and millage rate.

Lake County School District’s annual operating budget decreased for the fourth consecutive year. The $536.5 million 2013-2014 proposed budget is about $17.8 million less than last year’s budget. The proposed 2013-2014 millage rate of 7.170 is .15 mil less than last year.

The required local effort (RLE) for Lake County Schools, as set by the Florida Department of Education, is a millage rate of 5.67 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Combined with 1.5 mils dedicated for capital improvements, the total School District millage rate for Lake County property owners is 7.170. The RLE determines what millage the School Board must approve in order to qualify for state funding.

Millage determines how much property owners will pay in taxes. For example, the 7.170 millage rate applied to a home assessed at a taxable value of $100,000 would pay school taxes of $717 or $15 less than last year when the millage rate was set at 7.320.

Sections of Lake County Schools’ budget, including those from schools and departments, are online. To review the proposed budget information for 2013-2014 fiscal year, log on to www.lake.k12.fl.us and click on the “2013-2014 Proposed Budget” link.

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At a final budget hearing Monday evening, Lake County School Board unanimously approved the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget and millage rate.

With property values continuing to decline, Lake County School District’s annual operating budget decreased for the third consecutive year. The $554.3 million 2012-2013 final budget is about $12.5 million less than last year’s budget. The millage rate of 7.320 is .074 mil less than last year.

The required local effort (RLE) for Lake County Schools, as set by the Florida Department of Education, is a millage rate of 5.82 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Combined with 1.5 mils dedicated for capital improvements, the total School District millage rate for Lake County property owners is 7.320. The RLE determines what millage the School Board must approve in order to qualify for state funding.

Millage determines how much property owners will pay in taxes. For example, the 7.320 millage rate applied to a home assessed at a taxable value of $100,000 would pay school taxes of $732 or $7.40 less than last year when the millage rate was set at 7.394.

Sections of Lake County Schools’ budget, including those from schools and departments, are online. To review the budget information for 2012-2013 fiscal year, log on to http://www.lake.k12.fl.us and click on the “2012-2013 Proposed Budget” link.

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The Lake County School Board and Lake County Schools’ Finance Department was recently awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada for the District’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

“It’s an honor when a nationally recognized source of experts who specialize in financial management finds your work to be award winning for nine consecutive years,” said Carol MacLeod, Chief Financial Officer for Lake County Schools. “We take great pride in the work we do, and we are honored to be recognized by GFOA for our 2010-2011 fiscal year CAFR.”

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and management.

The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.

Lake County Schools 2010-2011 CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

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The Lake County School Board unanimously approved the tentative 2012-2013 fiscal year budget and millage rate at the first public hearing on Monday evening.

With property values continuing to decline, Lake County School District’s tentative annual budget decreased for the third consecutive year. The $528.8 million proposed 2012-2013 budget is about $19 million less than last year’s budget. The tentative millage rate is 7.320, which is a .074 mil less than last year.

The Lake County School Board’s final public hearing for the proposed budget and millage rate is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 10, at 5:30 p.m. in the Lake County Administration Building, located at 315 W. Main St., Tavares.

The required local effort (RLE) for Lake County Schools, as set by the Florida Department of Education, is a tentative millage rate of 5.82 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Combined with 1.5 mils dedicated for capital improvements, the total tentative School District millage rate for Lake County property owners is 7.320. The RLE determines what millage the School Board must approve in order to qualify for state funding.

Millage determines how much property owners will pay in taxes. For example, the tentative 7.320 millage rate applied to a home assessed at a taxable value of $100,000 would pay school taxes of $732 or $7.40 less than last year when the millage rate was set at 7.394.

Sections of Lake County Schools’ tentative budget, including those from schools and departments, are online. To review the tentative budget information for 2012-2013 fiscal year, log on to www.lake.k12.fl.us and click on the “2012-2013 Proposed Budget” link.

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Almost a year after receiving high marks from two leading sources of independent credit ratings ‑ Standard & Poor’s Rating Services and Fitch Ratings – the Lake County School Board’s outstanding certificates of participations (COPs) continue to receive favorable ratings.

As part of the process to reissue COP Series 2012A valued at about $36.7 million, which will help the District obtain a lower interest rate, the District underwent a ratings review with both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. On Feb. 22, the District’s bond ratings were reaffirmed as “A” by Standard & Poor’s and “A+” by Fitch, both with a stable outlook.

“What these ratings affirmations will do is help to ensure that our 2012A Refunding COP is an attractive investment to potential buyers and issued at a lower interest rate which will maximize our savings,” said Carol MacLeod, Chief Financial Officer for Lake County Schools. “Given the financial climate, this type of outside acknowledgement of our financial stability is remarkable.”

According to a report released by Standard & Poor’s Rating Service, the reaffirmation of the District’s COPs is based in part on the following:

  • A strong historical financial position.
  • Good financial management policies.
  • A low overall debt burden with limited future capital needs.

The Lake County School District’s strong financial position was echoed in the report from Fitch Ratings, which stated “…the District’s history of sound financial management demonstrated through conservative budgeting practices and prudent expenditure controls, which has enabled the district to maintain a consistent level of fund balance and financial cushion despite the weakened revenue environment.”

Lake County Schools currently has about $297 million in outstanding COP principal, which were originally issued for more than $354 million. Funds from these COPs helped finance a series of capital improvement projects, such as building new schools or additions at existing schools. Schools that have benefitted from COPs include: Round Lake Elementary, Astatula Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, Villages Elementary, Windy Hill Middle, Beverly Shores Elementary, Groveland Elementary, Tavares Elementary, Triangle Elementary, Eustis Middle, Tavares Middle, Pine Ridge Elementary, Leesburg High, Mount Dora High, Fruitland Park Elementary, Mount Dora Middle, Leesburg Elementary, Carver Middle, Mascotte Elementary, Lake Hills, Minneola Elementary, East Ridge High, Sawgrass Bay Elementary, East Ridge Middle, South Lake High and Gray Middle School.

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Lake County Schools will be closed on Friday, Nov. 11, to observe Veterans Day. The administration offices of Lake County Schools will also be closed on Nov. 11.

To view a complete holiday calendar for Lake County Schools, log on to http://www.lake.k12.fl.us or visit Lake County Schools District Office, located at 201 W. Burleigh Blvd. in Tavares.

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The Lake County School Board and Lake County Schools’ Finance Department was recently awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada for the District’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

“We take great pride in the work we do, and we are honored to be recognized by GFOA for our 2009-2010 fiscal year CAFR,” said Carol MacLeod, Chief Financial Officer for Lake County Schools. “To receive such an award for eight consecutive years is truly a testament to the District’s commitment to financial stewardship.”

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and management.

The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.

Lake County Schools 2009-2010 CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

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