shortcutOct 23, 2018
Shalmont Central School District
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Budget Questions and Answers (2017-2018 Budget)

1. Are we the only district in the capital region facing a budget gap?

  • No. Most every district has a gap between their revenue and expenses. There is a range based on a number of factors.

2. How did we get in this position of having little revenue but increasing expenses?

  • The key factors impacting the budget for next year include:
    • Little to no growth in community (new businesses, stores etc.), which impacts tax levy limit
    •  We are an average wealth district, meaning we receive minimal funding from NYS; Schalmont slated to receive only an additional $100,000 in the Governor’s executive budget
    • NYS isn’t funding districts at the full level required under state law; We lost millions to the GEA over the years -- money we’ll never see
    • Increases associated with contractual obligations (salaries, benefits) make up most of the spending increase in the rollover budget
    • Increases in utilities costs
    • CPI used for tax levy formula (1.26% - not the widely-advertised “2 percent tax capâ€�)
    • Increases to special education costs
    • In order to maintain the required amount of fund balance, only so much is available to offset gap

3. Are we the only district in the area considering a tax levy threshold override? What does an override mean for us?

  • No. According to NYS, other area districts considering an override of the tax cap include Glens Falls, Queensbury, and Northville. An override means that we are considering proposing a budget that would increase the tax levy by more than the 1.46 percent allowed under the NYS tax cap formula. In this case, 60 percent of voters would need to vote in favor of the budget for it to be approved.

4. What percentage of our annual school budget is set aside for healthcare payments?

  • In the 2017-18 draft budget, 14.2 percent of expenses is for health insurance payments for both active/current employees and retirees. The breakdown by group is as follows: instructional, 61.5 percent; administrators, 4.7 percent; non-instructional, 33.8 percent.

5. Can we expect this level of gap year after year?

  • Yes. Unless something changes in funding or expenses, we foresee this same level of gap occurring next year and in future years.

6. Why is our projected state aid increase only $100,000?

  • The NYS funding formula for schools is complex and is driven by a number of factors. These include enrollment, wealth and poverty. Schalmont currently has about 1,800 students and has a wealth factor that is considered average. In addition, our free-and-reduced price meal population (25 percent in 2015-16) does not meet the state’s threshold for a high-poverty district – this also factors into Schalmont’s state aid.