Budget information presented in Brocton

BROCTON – Politi-cians, members of the general public, and even educational consultants speak about the “2 percent tax cap” on school districts.

As the actors in the Hertz commercials used to say, “not exactly.”

For school districts there is indeed a tax cap, but it is “not exactly” two percent. Reaching the actual percentage requires a step-by-step calculation. Further-more, a district could, if it chose, propose a budget over that cap. In that case, a supermajority (or 60 percent of the voters) would have to approve the proposed budget.

In her recent presentation of the proposed budget to the school board, School Business Executive/District Treasurer Betty DeLand was meticulous in her explanation. Her presentation included the calculation of the tax cap.

For Brocton, the allowable increase of the tax levy from last year is $268,242. The allowable limit in increase of the levy from the prior year is 6.1 percent.

DeLand noted that the district does not plan to go up to that allowable level. The proposed increase in the tax levy is 1.99 percent, just a little underneath the mythical “2 percent.”

She showed figures for items in administrative, program and capital for the 2012-2013 budget, the 2013-2014 budget, and calculated the percentage of change.

She said, “There are no decreases in staff. We made the hard decisions before.”

Her summary included these points for the proposed budget:

The budget is up by 3.97 percent.

Revenues are up by 3.1 percent (not including reserves the district plans to use.)

Fund balances would be used to keep the proposed 2013-2014 tax levy to 1.99 percent.

If the budget is defeated and the district uses a contingency budget, the district would have to cut the proposed budget by $87,360.

The Annual Budget hearing for the district will be held on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. in school auditorium.

The vote on the budget and the election of two school board members is scheduled for May 21 between the hours of noon and 8 p.m.

Petitions for school board candidates are still available and due back in the District Clerk’s office by April 22.

Comments on this article may be directed to dchodan@observertoday.com