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To the Editor:
This letter is in response to some criticism I have heard over why Carroll Hills has a renewal school levy on the ballot for November 6, 2012 when we have over one million dollars in carryover. This is not a new criticism and it was addressed back in 2008 with a letter to the editor.

The Carroll Hills Program does have a carryover of more than one million dollars. This is not meant to be a secret, but in fact is good business practice. The Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities goal is to maintain around 6 months of operating expenses. This is necessary due to cash flow issues the Board experiences at times. We receive half our levy money in April each year and the other half in August. The Board also bills the State and Federal Government for services and can have a lag time on payment from a month to several years. We recently just received a cost settlement for 2007.

In 2004 the Carroll County Board of DD had to borrow approximately $600,000 from the Commissioners to make payroll. The Board was due 2 million dollars for providing adult services but the Federal government was holding payment until the State changed its billing system. The Carroll County Board of DD received a 1.4 million dollar settlement from the Federal Government in 2005. The Board decided that they would keep a healthy reserve of money of around 6 months of operating expenses to make sure this did not happen again.

The Carroll County Board of DD has experienced a loss in revenue of $645,000 from the loss of Tangible Personal Property Tax, State cuts, and loss of a local contract. We have made internal cuts to offset the loss in revenue and increased operating costs. The Board has reduced staff, increased collaboration with other agencies to save money, and maximized sources of revenue such as grants and Medicaid billing. We project that the Board will end 2012 with around 1.7 million dollars in reserve or as some call it a carryover. The Board’s commitment is to live within our means by only asking Carroll County voters to continue their previous commitment with supporting our levies.

The Board is indeed asking the voters to support Carroll Hills School with a 1 mill renewal operating levy for a 10 year period. This means that your taxes will not increase for another 10 years if this levy is approved. This school levy was passed in 2006 and renewed in 2009. The Carroll Hills School levy generated $475,000 this year and our school budget was 1.5 million dollars. The Board also has another operating levy that is 3.6 mills for 10 years and it was passed in 2008. The combined operating levies generate around 2.4 million dollars which is 60% of our 4 million dollar budget.

In closing, thank you Carroll County voters for your many years of support of the Carroll Hills Program. If you have any further questions please feel free to call me at 330-627-6555.

Matt Campbell, Superintendent
Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities

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