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September 3rd, 2008
Notebook: San Marcos schools budget, tax rate

From San Marcos CISD

At a special meeting of the San Marcos CISD board of trustees last week, the board adopted an official budget for the 2008-2009 school year. It totals nearly $70 million.

General Fund: $55,647,254

Payroll Costs: $43,719,733
Professional & Contracted Services: $6,173,160
Supplies & Materials: $3,303,287
Other Operating Expenditures: $1,076,013
Debt Service: $1,257,561
Capital Outlay: $117,500

Child Nutrition Fund: $3,313,062

Debt Service Fund: $10,439,339

TOTAL: $69,399,655

According to Mike Abild, the assistant superintendent for business & support services:

  • Over $43.7 million of the proposed General Fund budget is for payroll costs; with nearly 88% of that total paid directly for instruction and instructional related services, instructional and school leadership, and student support services.
  • Over $30.8 million will be used directly for classroom instruction.
  • Over $5.6 million is budgeted for instructional related services and instructional and school leadership expenditures (libraries, campus leadership, curriculum/staff development, and instructional leadership).
  • Over $7.1 million will be used for student support services; such as guidance, health services, student transportation, and co-curricular activities.
  • Over $6.4 million will be used for facilities maintenance and operations; with nearly $5.3 million of that total spent for maintenance payroll costs, district-wide utilities, and property insurance.
  • Over $3.2 million will be used for student transportation services, with over $700,000 spent for fuel.
  • Other budget amounts include administrative services ($2 million), security and data processing services ($1.7 million), debt services ($1.3 million), and community services ($190,000).

Funding Sources

The 2008-2009 budget is funded primarily by local tax revenues and state funding.  Local property taxes and related revenues fund over $32.9 million (59.17%) of the General Fund budget.  State funding provides approximately $21.2 million (38.07%) of funding for the General Fund.  Smaller amounts are provided by other local funds ($1.4 million) and federal funding ($150,000).

The District’s 2008 taxable property increased by approximately 7% (a $213 million increase from the 2008 budget-year to the 2009 budget-year).  This increase in value resulted in a net revenue gain of approximately $2.36 million for the General Fund.

The “hold harmless” provisions of House Bill One (HB1) call for a nearly dollar-for-dollar reduction in state funding for each new dollar of local funding, resulting in an approximately $2 million reduction in state funding for 2009.  The District expects to receive approximately $21.2 million of state funding for 2008-2009, a decrease of approximately $314,000 from budget-year to budget-year.

Major Budget Changes

The 2008-2009 budget includes a $1,375 salary increase for educators (teachers, counselors, librarians, and nurses), an increased beginning teacher salary ($39,200), and a 3% mid-point increase in wages for all other employee categories.  Additional salary enhancements at steps 1 and 12-19, and an increased “masters degree stipend” (from $1,200 to $1,500), were also included to increase the competitiveness of the District’s salaries.  Salary increases, totaling approximately $1.2 million, represent the single largest change in operating expenditures for the 2008-2009 budget.

Other significant budget increases include fuel costs ($200,000), utility costs ($253,981), and debt service costs relating to vehicle purchases ($124,798).  The 2008-2009 budget also includes numerous budget reductions, including a net $412,528 reduction in personnel costs resulting from staff reductions and adjustments.  Additional budget reductions include appraisal costs ($61,638), property/fleet insurance costs ($22,023), and one-time capital outlay budgets ($57,500).

Tax Rate

The existing General Fund tax rate of $1.04 will adequately fund the proposed General Fund budget for 2008-2009.  Additionally, the existing Debt Service Fund tax rate of $0.33 is adequate to accommodate the District’s debt service requirements for the upcoming fiscal year.  The 2008 tax rate is as follows:

2007 Official Rate      2008 Proposed Rate
General Fund Rate (M&O)          $1.04                         $1.04
Debt Service Fund Rate (I&S)    $0.33                          $0.33
Total Tax Rate                          $1.37                         $1.37

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