The District 181 Board of Education is planning on approving a non-max levy this winter, but that hasn’t kept the administration’s business office from plotting a balanced budget.
Board members voted to publicly post the tentative 2013-14 budget Monday night after assistant superintendent for business Gary Frisch projected the district would take in $6,950 more in revenue than it would spend over the next fiscal year. That small surplus is anticipated even as the district plans, at the board’s request, for a second consecutive levy extension equal only to the consumer price index (CPI), which in 2013 is 1.7 percent.
A school district is legally allowed to extend one year’s levy over the previous year’s levy by CPI plus any taxes made available by new construction in the district. As it did in December 2012, the board is exploring the idea of foregoing any dollars related to new construction, meaning their planned 1.7 percent levy extension this December would be down from the 2.5 percent estimate Frisch presented in June if new construction were included.
According to the tentative budget, posted here on the District 181 website, the district is planning on taking in more than $59.6 million in revenue. Most of those dollars—about $54 million—will come from property taxes, while the remainder will come from other local revenue sources as well as state and federal aid.
On the expenditure side, District 181’s budget accounts for $58.3 million in costs, including employee salaries and benefits, capital projects and purchased services. After transfers to the capital projects and debt services funds, the total cash used by the district in 2013-14 will be $59,599,893, leaving that $6,950 remainder.
The tentative budget will be posted for 30 days beginning Tuesday. The board is planning a public hearing and final vote on Sept. 23.
The levy-extension percentage is related to the overall amount of money the district will take in, not necessarily the amount each individual homeowner will pay. That individual difference depends on the equalized assessed value (EAV) of a home and how it changed year-over-year within the scope of the entire community's EAV.