Brocton school board passes 2014-2015 budget

BROCTON – A breakdown of the school budget was presented to and passed by the school board recently.

The 2014-2015 total budget came to $16,544,423, which went up 8.21 percent from last school year. Revenues went up 11.5 percent due to the capital project.

However, for the third straight year the school has stayed under the tax cap. The tax levy included a 1.45 percent increase or $4,552,172.

“Teaching is a major part of our budget,” Business Executive Betty Deland said. “Salaries and benefits are going up.”

This part of the budget is made up of administration and programs. The cost of administration is $1,382,678, an increase of 7.39 percent. Program costs are $11,464,782, which is an increase of 7.21 percent.

Deland added major changes were made to the budget involving the BOCES program. Special Education and distance learning have gone down. Occupational education and media has gone up.

The total BOCES expenditure for 2014-15 is $3,249,601, which is a 2.04 percent increase or $64,836.

One new thing in the budget was the Property Tax Freeze Credit. This provides New York state homeowners with tax freeze credit.

Superintendent John Hertlein said this was a very complicated procedure.

Step by step those eligible for the tax freeze need the following:

Residential property owners eligible for a STAR exemption in all school districts except New York state that comply with the tax levy limit in 2014-15 and/or 2015-16.

Eligible property owners receive the credit via rebate checks to be issued by New York State Tax Department in autumn of 2014 and 2015.

Credit in 2014 is equal to the greater than the 2014-15 increase in school taxes or 1.46 percent of 2013-14 school tax bill.

Eligibility for credit in 2015 is dependent upon a school district having a state approved government efficiency plan, which may be regional, multi-district, or individual that achieves three years of savings and efficiencies of 1 percent per year of 2014 school tax levy in each of three years starting in 2016-17.

BOCES may convene and facilitate development of an efficiency plan for each BOCES region.

Plans may include efficiencies already implemented.

Savings plans to be submitted to the director of the New York State Budget by June 1, 2015.

A public hearing will be held May 13 at 7 p.m. on the proposed budget.

The budget vote is scheduled for May 20 from noon to 8 p.m. in the new gym foyer.

“Even though no tax increase is expected, the qualified voters of the district still need to pass the budget by 51 percent,” Deland said.