North Syracuse schools eye 4.1 percent tax increase

Within the district, the following have become foremost areas of increase:

* Because of contractual obligations to district employees, there is a $1,694,994 budget increase.

* There is also a $4,070,686 increase because of health benefits. This is totaled from an increase in both Employee Retirement System contributions up to 45 percent and a possible increase of up to 63 percent for Teacher Retirement System contributions.

With the latest numbers and planning in place, Bleau revealed five possible budget scenarios with tax increases between one and five percent.

With a 5 percent tax rate increase, the budget will be reduced by only $5,762,000 with 118 staff reductions, and a 3 percent tax rate increase would bring the budget reduction up to $7,114,000 with 144 staff reductions.

However, if the district were to adopt a zero percent tax rate increase would make the budget decrease by $9,142,000 with 180 staff reductions.

Melvin said he did not welcome such actions at first, but that he understood the district has already lost $1.4 million and cannot count on the IDEA/Title I funding of $887,000 in 2011-12.

"In order to get some idea of what reductions have to be made, it is important that the board of education give consideration to a possible tax increase," Bleau said.

No matter which option is selected and ultimately voted on, Melvin said the community must look ahead to 2011-12. While difficult decisions will be made for the next year, Melvin said the year after will hold even tougher challenges.

Melvin has posed the following to many who are worried about next year's budget, {Q}"What will be left to cut in 2011-12?"{Q}

Bleau also presented a detailed revenue analysis to the board regarding a comparison by percentage.

He used the term "other revenues" to include the 2008-09 actual revenues, the 2009-10 proposed revenues and the proposed 2010-11 revenues. This total represents $6,030,992 with a $248,700 increase from 2009-10 "other revenues" that reflects a 4.3 percent increase.

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