Q: Please explain the tax bill increase.
A: The tax levy will increase 1.8% for the 2019-20 school year. However, the tax bill is difficult to project at this time. The reason for this is because the calculation used to create the tax bills is based on three numbers; the amount we need to levy, the assessed values throughout the district and the equalization rates in each town. The assessment and the equalization rates are not finalized until early August.
Q: Curriculum Development & Supervision 2018-2019 $ 4,226,064 $ 2019-2020 4,068,030 -$ 158,034 -3.7% Why is there a cut in this category?
A: There are no actual cuts in this section of the budget. This decrease is a result of changes that were made throughout the budget due to new requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act. We are required to report expenditures by building and for this section of the budget, it required moving the costs for technology and attendance out of the Curriculum Development & Supervision section and putting these costs in the Technology section and the All Other Student Services section of the budget.
Q: From presentation 1 on slide 9, can you please provide additional detail for the budget items "Equipment", "Contract SVC" and "OTHER"?
A: The drivers behind the changes in the following areas are as follows:
We propose purchasing 8 new buses to replace our aging fleet. Rather than have a bond proposition, we plan to use fund balance to purchase the buses. By purchasing the buses we can save up to $80,000 in interest and bonding fees. This is part of our financial plan implemented this past summer.
We are also proposing to purchase 2 new work vehicles for our buildings and grounds department. There are 2 pickup trucks with plows from 1995 that have reached the end of their useful life.
The increase in this section is driven by an increase in our costs for transportation shared through BOCES for our students in other programs.
In addition, due to changes in the Every Student Succeeds Act, we are required to report our expenditures by building. This required moving some of our expenses from one part of our budget to another part. In this case, we moved the costs for our Central Copy Room from the Instructional section of the budget to our Non-Instructional section.
This increase is driven by changes for Every Student Succeeds Act and we have moved the costs for our law enforcement and security guards to the Non-Instructional section of the budget, from the Instructional section.
We also have an increase in expenses for our contract to transport students that are placed in other programs.
The increases in this section include the health insurance and FICA increases plus a Bond Anticipation Note (BAN). This is the final BAN due before the district finalizes the borrowing for our $59 million dollar Capital project approved in 2016.
Q: From budget presentation 1 on slide 6, can you please provide more detail into the specifics of the "Undistributed" budget section. I understand, from NYSED what is supposed to be in that section. I'm asking for the specifics that account for the $33M+. Thanks.
A: This section of the budget consists of the following:
Debt Service: $6,564,955
Employee Benefits: $26,415,326
Interfund Transfers: $275,000
The amount budgeted for 2019-20 is as follows:
Debt Service: $7,374,055
Employee Benefits: $26,580,948
Interfund Transfers: $225,000
Total: $ 34,180,003