For 2014-15, the district is not proposing reducing programs or services any further, but instead is taking a no growth approach - excluding the expansion of the kindergarten program, which will be offset by state conversion aid.
Building the budget
Revenue to fund the district’s operating budget comes from two primary sources: the state and the tax levy, which is the total amount of money the district will collect from local property owners to support the school budget. Based on the governor’s January budget proposal, F-M would receive about 23 percent of its preliminary budget revenues from the state. The district is projecting that the tax levy would account for about 72 percent of its revenues. Other smaller sources of revenue include county sales tax revenue and payment in lieu of tax agreements.
Voter feedback on the 2013-14 budget exit survey indicated that responders would like the district to maintain its current programs and services. With that in mind, the administration is recommending a preliminary budget that carries a 2.49 percent tax levy increase, which is about a $1.3 million increase compared to the current budget. Combined with proposed state aid, this would generate enough revenue for the district so it would not have to make major cuts.
The district could increase the levy up to 2.57 percent and still require a simple majority (50 percent plus one) of voters to approve the budget, according to the state’s Property Tax Levy Cap Law. Any tax levy increase greater than that amount would require a supermajority (60 percent) for budget authorization.
To balance the budget, the district is also proposing to use $1.6 million of its fund balance as revenue to offset the need for any further increase in the tax levy. The district allocated the same amount of fund balance in the 2013-14 budget.