The school portion of the average homeowner's taxes could increase $355 if the Board of Education approves a $129.8 million tax levy.
The district’s proposed expenditures, and their potential impact on the preliminary budget for the 2012-2013 school year, were outlined at a special meeting at Tuesday night.
The proposed increase, which includes $174 for the tax levy and $181 for the debt service portion of the budget, would raise the school portion of the average homeowner's tax bill from $5,402 to $5,757. New information shows that the possible tax increase if the new budget is adopted will be 6.5 percent instead of the 4.5 percent that was reported earlier. That earlier number did not include the $181 for the debt service portion of the budget, which is paid by taxpayers.
“We have two goals: One is to be fiscally prudent, the other is to ensure that we continue to make this district excellent and move it forward,” board trustee Mitchell Badiner said.
The Wayne Public School District could spend more than $117 million on salaries and benefits next school year.
Officials outlined, as of the preliminary budget, how much would be spent on several fiscal categories:Expenditure Preliminary Amount Current amount for 2011-2012 academic year Total salaries and benefits $117.2 million $112.7 million Tuition for students placed out of district $4.2 million $2.8 million Supplies, maintenance $7.4 million $7.2 million Supplies, instructional $3.3 million $4 million Supplies, transportation $2.4 million $2.1 million Other expenditures $3.7 million $2.7 million
The Board of Education asked administrators, including Superintendent Ray Gonzalez, to examine ways of cutting $4.1 million from the budget in order to keep the tax levy within a state-mandated 2 percent increase cap.
"We're giving as much tax relief as we can," said board President Donald Pavlak Jr.
The trustees voted unanimously that they do not support using the approximately $1.7 million in banked cap in this year’s budget. The money was available for the board to apply to this year’s 2 percent tax increase cap because the council voted to cut that much from last year’s budget. The council voted because taxpayers rejected the district’s $124 million tax levy last year.
There will be a special public budget hearing at March 20, similar to the one held Tuesday. The public will have the opportunity to ask officials questions at that meeting.
The board will adopt the final budget at a special public meeting Thursday, March 29.
The board voted to add another public meeting between March 20 and 29 so residents can be told where the proposed cuts will be made.