Budget development process is underway

posted Feb 13, 2015, 9:11 AM by Doreen Dedrick   [ updated Feb 13, 2015, 9:11 AM ]

[February 13, 2015] Due to the governor’s decision to delay the release of state aid runs, our District has been unable to prepare a preliminary budget. However, information regarding the multiple budget factors, estimated maximum allowable tax levy and estimated employee benefit costs was provided at the February 10 budget workshop. As of the workshop date, the estimated maximum allowable tax levy was 1.55%.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Kelly Seibert cautioned that initial projections are likely to change as information from the state becomes available. He also detailed additional factors impacting this year’s budget development process, including:

  • the District’s cumulative $12.5M loss of funds since 2010 due to the Gap Elimination Adjustment;
  • a $700,000 loss in June 2014, resulting from state building aid adjustment;
  • the deteriorating fiscal health of local village, town and county governments as set forth by the NYS Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System;
  • decreased assessed property values over the past decade;
  • potential tax certiorari liability of $3.2M for the current year;
  • ongoing PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) agreements;
  • potential impact of the proposed Tuxedo STEM Academy;
  • projected enrollment decline, resulting in the loss of an estimated 344 students by 2019;
  • expiring contracts for its six of the District’s seven bargaining units (Supervisors of Business contract was settled); and,
  • the 1.62% Consumer Price Index for 2015-16.

Seibert also reported some good news regarding the District’s fiscal stability (a current score of 0% on the NYS Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System), and decreased contribution rates for TRS/ERS and health benefits in 2015-16.

Upcoming Board budget workshops will be held at 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 17 and Tuesday, April 14 at the Administrative Offices in Hillburn. The Board elections and budget vote will be held on Tuesday, May 19. 

Information regarding the budget development process can be found on the District website at http://www.ramapocentral.org. Questions regarding the budget may be submitted via email to mailto:budget@ramapocentral.org.