[February 25, 2014] At the February 4 Board budget workshop, Assistant Superintendent for Business Kelly Seibert presented roll-over budget projections and preliminary maximum allowable tax levy calculations for upcoming fiscal year. Budget development to date has been based on anticipated health insurance increase of 5.0%, a TRS rate of 17.75% and State Aid according to Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget.
Rollover projections for 2014-15 show total expenditures of $130,372,327, representing a 1.85% budget-to-budget increase from this year. Rollover salary projections include the reduction of one Teaching Assistant position due to decreased enrollment and one Assistant Maintenance Mechanic position due to attrition.
The District’s maximum allowable tax levy is estimated at 1.04%, lower than the 2014-15 statewide cap of 1.46%, due to reduced exemptions resulting from refinanced bonds and payments received upon completion of the energy performance contract. Seibert noted that the District has realized significant savings by refinancing the bonds and through full implementation of the energy performance contract, which has cut electric and gas costs by nearly $100,000 per year.
Seibert reiterated the challenge facing the District, and all school districts across the state: preserving programs despite declining State Aid. In 2014-15, Ramapo Central will lose another $2,276,609 due to the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). Since the GEA was implemented in 2010-11, the District has lost $12,728,664 in State Aid promised, but not delivered.
For 2014-15, the District proposes the use of unrestricted tax certiorari reserve funds in the amount of $1,213,236 to balance the budget. In accordance with the District’s Corrective Action Plan in response to the New York State Comptroller’s Audit Report, the District anticipates the allocation of $1,000,0000 from the liquidation of encumbered purchase orders for tax certiorari to be applied to the 2014-15 budget.
Community members are encouraged to stay informed throughout the budget development process by attending the Board budget workshops. Upcoming workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, March 18 and Tuesday, April 8.
Information regarding the budget development process can be found on the District’s budget webpage. Budget-related questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.