The Akron Public Schools have a tax collection problem that will add over $3 million to the district's projected shortfall next year.
And that could mean more big cuts, even if voters approve a 7.9 mill levy on the November ballot.
Akron district treasurer Jack Pierson says the state's all-at-once late action on sending "TIF" - tax increment financing - money to the city of Akron means a hit to the district's budget...with money gone that the school system thought would be there.
"We believe, from the information that we have received from the county, is that there was a backlog of TIF applications that were approved by the state," Pierson tells AkronNewsNow.com, "and now that money has to be reimbursed to the city, and they're doing it all in one fell swoop, and some of those reimbursements go back four years."
"TIF" means that companies can pay the city for infrastructure improvements to their new or rebuilt property instead of paying taxes.
Akron school board president Jason Haas says that the district already knew it would have to cut money even if the levy passes. He says this just makes it worse.
"This is now 3.2 on top of that," Haas tells AkronNewsNow, "which if the levy is successful, is going to be about 9 million dollars that we're going to have to look at cut next year."
Haas says that brings the district even closer to deep cuts it's been trying to avoid...to the classroom.
"That's obviously the last thing we want to get to is a classroom cut, but there's not a whole lot left over besides that," Haas tells AkronNewsNow.com, "You start talking about some extracurriculars. We've gotten rid of most of them at the middle school level, and then high school level is left."
The backlog was from 2007 through part of 2010.
And Haas says the district is worried that future such tax deals could be cleared by the state for the years 2010 through 2012. That would further add to the Akron schools' money problems.
Akron City Council president Marco Sommerville explains why the Akron Public Schools are involved, and hopes they get money back soon.
"There has to be some agreement with the school system, they have to sign off because they do basically lose some money in that transaction," Sommerville tells AkronNewsNow. "But the other side of the coin is, hopefullly, they'll pick it back up."
Sommerville says that if Akron is going to grow, the education system has to be strong to attact new business.
He says the loss of revenue to the school district concerns him, and that he wants to find a way to deal with a "serious problem".