07/10/2022

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Growing Your Income

Salamanca school’s $47.43M budget set for May 17 vote | News

SALAMANCA — The opportunity to pass a $47.43 million budget with no change in the tax levy tax will be presented to voters of the Salamanca City Central School District during its annual budget vote May 17.

The overall budget was presented in a public hearing Tuesday evening by Bob Breidenstein, district superintendent, during the regular Board of Education meeting. Karen Magara, assistant superintendent for finance and operation, was unable to attend in person.

The tax levy once again remains flat at $250,000, as it has for the past four budgets, and provides for less than 1% of the district’s revenues.

“Unlike many other districts, our property tax revenue are the lowest revenue stream,” he said. “We’re pretty proud of that.”

The proposed 2022-23 budget includes about $284,000 less in spending than the current budget, about a 1% decrease, Breidenstein explained. Most notably, school officials have increased the programming component of the budget, which is 74% of the total plan at about $35.32 million, by about $4.1 million.

“If you go back year to year, budget to budget, these numbers are pretty consistent,” he said. “However, if you look back over a historical perspective, we have increased our program expenditure — put more money into the classrooms and the staff members serving those students from an academic component.”

Administration makes up 11% at about $4.98 million, Breidenstein said. Capital expenses add up to 15% at about $7.13 million, which he said will provide a safe, healthy learning environment for students, staff and the community.

For the revenues, the biggest portion of the budget’s revenues comes from state aid at $24.82 million — about half, Breidenstein said. It includes everything from BOCES aid to excess pupil costs and textbooks.

Making up 26% are Indigenous Tuition and Transportation funds at $12.39 million, followed by Impact Aid at 12%, or roughly $5.66 million. District fund balance and reserves provide for about $3.76 million, about 8%.

“Mrs. Magara has outlined our long-range fiscal plan and how much we will annually allocate for the multitude of reserve accounts to deal with unexpected changes and fluctuations in the market,” Breidenstein said.

Miscellaneous funds adding up to about $550,000 and the $250,000 tax levy make up the final 2%.

“It’s important to note the school district has not raised property taxes since the 2011 fiscal year, and we maintain that and expect it will continue,” he said.

In addition to the school budget vote and board election, Breidenstein said the ballot also has a proposition to create a $25 million capital improvements reserve fund that will last 10 years and help pay for possible capital projects such as a pre-school building, further athletic improvements or a new bus garage.

“This is essentially a $25 million piggybank for us to use for future referendums for future capital expenditures in the district,” he said. “This is long-range planning.”

A third proposition on the budget would allow the district pursue a potential fourth phase of the ongoing capital project for about $21.49 million.

The annual budget vote and school board election is scheduled for May 17 from noon a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Salamanca High School gymnasium on Iroquois Drive.