Treasurer steps down; board warns of proposed Ohio House bill
by Laura Bednar
March 20 board of education meeting
Nordonia Schools Treasurer Matt Brown will resign effective Aug. 1 after accepting a position with Beachwood City Schools. According to beachwoodschools.org, the Beachwood Board of Education unanimously hired Brown to be Treasurer/CFO on March 13.
Nordonia Hills Board of Education board members expressed their gratitude.
“We’re going to miss you, you’ve been extremely responsive to board questions, public records requests and everything the community asks,” said board President Chad Lahrmer.
“I cannot say enough good things about Matt in the time he’s been here,” said Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark, adding that in the 31 years he’s worked in education, Brown is the best CFO with whom he has worked.
“It was a challenging decision to make but an opportunity that is something positive for me that I couldn’t pass up,” Brown said. He was hired by Nordonia in May 2021.
The district will pay search firm Finding Leaders $7,900 to find treasurer candidates. Lahrmer said this is the same company that Nordonia used to find Brown.
In other staffing updates, Clark noted recent retirements. “Part of our goal is to start reducing staffing through attrition,” he said. “My expectation is of all the retirements we’ve had, to allow six of those positions to expire, which would be $800,000 in salary and benefits that we will be able to save.”
Board member Matt Kearney asked if there would be more retirements before the end of this school year. Clark said it was unlikely, but there may be resignations.
“Every person that leaves we analyze the position before we decide if we’re going to replace it,” Clark said.
House Bill 1
Brown explained House Bill 1, which is currently making its way through the Ohio House of Representatives. It would create a flat state income tax of 2.75% for anyone making over $25,000. Brown said to mitigate this loss of income to the state, the bill would eliminate the homestead and rollback tax credit, which is provided to homeowners who own their property. The state subsidizes the school district 10% of the tax bill so homeowners save 10% on their property taxes. The bill would eliminate this rollback and “put that burden back on to the homeowner,” according to Brown.
To minimize this impact, the bill would reduce the tax assessment rate from 35% to 31.5%.
However, Brown said existing House Bill 920, which prevents an approved levy from collecting additional funds when property values increase, would further impact the effects of House Bill 1.
If it becomes law, HB 1 would result in a loss of revenue to the school district of $686,096 and increase Nordonia residential taxpayer responsibility by $2.5 million.
“This legislation could be an immediate tax increase to taxpayers,” said Brown. Board member Liz McKinley added, “and a decrease to your municipalities: schools, libraries, everything that’s collecting state dollars.”
Clark said the district is a member of professional organizations that give updates on legislative issues. He said the district would let community members know when it is time to contact their representatives. ∞