Skaneateles BOE adopts $30 million budget

The Skaneateles Board of Education voted to adopt its 2014-15 operating budget and spending plan at its April 8 meeting.

The total budget will be $30.195 million with a $23,148,066 tax levy. The tax levy will increase by 1.64 percent from the previous year, which is the maximum increase allowed by the state-imposed tax cap, Business Manager Doug Tomandl said.

More detailed information about the budget is available on the district's website.

Tomandl also shared projections for the district’s fund balances. For the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, the district is projected to have $419,460 of revenue in excess of expenses. This is due to multiple factors such as retirements, consolidation of administrator positions and state aid for the full-day kindergarten conversion coming in earlier than expected, he said.

According to its most recent estimates, the district will have a fund balance of $3.152 million at the end of June. Though $1.895 million of that is held in funds reserved for specific purposes (such as capital projects and turf replacement), the rest can be transferred to the general fund to balance the budget, he said.

This strategy allowed the district to balance its budget while obeying the tax cap and maintaining all programs and staff not already reduced due to declining enrollment.

Since the district stayed within the cap, its residents qualify for the new state-issued property tax rebates, Tomandl said. Homeowners will receive a rebate equal to the increase of their property taxes from last year.

Qualifying for the rebate next year will not be so easy, however.

“The thing that’s really, really scary for a district that is very heavily dependent on its tax levy is that … the second year, we still have to follow all the rules from year one, but you have to come up with a plan to reduce your tax levy by 1 percent,” Tomandl said. “It’s a lot of money, you’re talking $231,000 is 1 percent.”

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