SINCLAIRVILLE - Debra McAvoy, the Business Administrator at Cassadaga Valley Central School, recently presented the first overview of the school budget for the 2013-2014 school year.
Tonight at 7 in the middle/high school multipurpose room the process of creating a budget will continue. The budget session is open to the public.
McAvoy set the stage for the decisions the board must make by explaining the tax cap numbers that apply to the district. While this is often called the 2 percent tax cap, in reality the tax cap imposed varies from district to district depending on formula that must be calculated.
In the case of CVCS, the maximum allowable tax levy is calculated at about $5.3 million. Expressed as a percentage, the amount is actually 6.94 percent.
McAvoy presented the board's options for its budget. One is to propose a budget involving a tax levy at or below that level. This would require a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) of those district residents who vote on May 21. The other option is the board can propose a budget greater than the cap. In that case a "super majority vote" (60 percent approval) is required.
McAvoy projected that without appropriation from the fund balance, revenues would be $19,231,998. Expenditures are estimated at $20,849,666, which is a 4.26 increase. She attributed the increase to contractual salary obligations and increases in the cost of benefits - employees' retirement system, teachers' retirement system and a health insurance increase of 4.9 percent.
"The budget presented is a roll-over budget with all staff and programs left intact with replacements for retirements included," McAvoy said.
She then asked for direction from the board. One possibility is decreasing the 2013-14 proposed budget to the 2012-2013 level or below ($19,998,000). Another is to decrease staffing levels through attrition when possible. Four teachers are scheduled to retire with no staff retirements. The district can cut BOCES services and/or make program reductions. Another possible action is the use the fund balance and reserves to offset shortages.