posted Mar 12, 2013, 9:25 AM by Doreen Dedrick
updated Jul 31, 2013, 8:46 AM
[February 12, 2013] At the February 5 Board of Education budget workshop, Assistant Superintendent for Business Kelly Seibert presented preliminary maximum allowable levy limit calculations and roll-over budget projections for 2013-14. Rollover projections show total expenditures of $134,934,334, representing a 6.18% budget-to-budget increase from 2012-13.
Following is a summary of factors currently impacting key aspects of the 2013-14 budget development process.
Maximum allowable levy limit calculations
School districts statewide are still waiting a definitive ruling from the New York State Comptroller’s Office on the use of carryover. Last year, New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) interpretation of the new Property Tax Levy Cap law indicated that districts would be permitted to carryover the difference between their 2012-13 maximum allowable levy limit and their proposed levy to 2013-14. With this understanding, Ramapo Central proposed a proposed levy of 2.68%—.18% lower than its maximum allowable levy limit—to preserve carryover that could be applied to the 2013-14 proposed levy. However, the Comptroller is now contesting this interpretation and contends that carryover will not be permitted. A final ruling is pending.
Expenditures are projected to increase by $7,867,401 in 2013-14.
Escalating salary and benefits expenditures comprise nearly 93% of the total budget-to-budget increase. The cost of benefits will increase by 14.43%, adding $4,401,205 to the budget’s bottom line. Per contractual agreements entered into in 2011, compensation freezes in force for the past two years will be lifted, resulting in a 4.89% increase in salaries, an additional $2,877,505.
The remaining portion of the budget-to-budget increase, $588,697, is attributed to rising special education, transportation and BOCES costs.
BOCES Aid has been reduced, reflecting the District’s decreased expenditures related to technology purchases and network specialists. For 2013-14, the District anticipates receiving $1,905,446 in BOCES Aid, a 34.99% decrease from the current year.
Unclassified revenues are projected to increase by $892,547, due to a new PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) created by the arrival of Raymour & Flanagan. However, according to the tax levy limit formula, all anticipated PILOT revenues are subtracted from 2013-14 maximum allowable levy limit calculations.
Finally, Ramapo Central is still awaiting confirmation of Building Aid and State Aid figures. The Comptroller’s Office has indicated that there will be changes to interest rates that would change how Building Aid is calculated. When these changes are made, Ramapo Central will face reductions in its building aid for both the current year and for 2013-14. Final 2013-14 State aid figures are typically reported to school districts in late March.
Community members are encouraged to stay informed throughout the budget development process by attending the Board budget workshops. Upcoming workshops, which will be held at the Administrative Offices in Hillburn, are scheduled for:
Wednesday, February 20 at 6:30pm
Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30pm
Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30pm
Tuesday, April 2 at 6:30pm