Lockport City School District starts 2013-14 budget process
During Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting Assistant Superintendent for Finance Deborah Coder presented preliminary figures on where the district might be financially if things stay the same as the current school year.
To get a more accurate calculation, the district is waiting on state aid numbers, which should come out with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget in January.
“This is very preliminary,” said Superintendent Michelle Bradley. “We don’t know state aid.”
The preliminary presentation was prompted after board members wanted a better picture of what their reserve funds were, after last weeks meeting where John Schiavone of Lumsden and McCormick presented the district’s external audit. The audit reported the district was financially solid.
During Coder’s report, she said for 2012-2013 the district could have raised the tax levy 2.28 percent. The board chose to raise the tax levy by only 1.5 percent, meaning for next year, they can roll over the difference.
This would mean if the unknown numbers remain the same, they could increase the tax levy 2.93 percent. Coder said it doesn’t mean they have to raise taxes that much, but they could.
In reserves, the district has a little more than $8 million. For the 2013-14 school year, Coder said they would use approximately $2 million from the reserve fund to help offset a tax increase.
The district used $3.1 million in reserves for this year’s budget. Coder said they could use less from 2013-14 because no one was laid off in this year’s budget, lessening the use of the unemployment reserve.
Another area the district does know the numbers for is building aid. Coder said because debt is dropping off the books, they would receive $3 million less than the 2012-13 school year.
However, if the district were to do another capital project in the future, building aid numbers would increase.