By SEAN BATURA
San Marcos CISD may receive about $50,000 more in tax revenues next budget year than earlier projections indicated, which would make the already-expected budget surplus a tiny bit larger.
The boost in projected revenues are the result of certified appraised property values released recently from appraisal districts serving San Marcos CISD. The certified values are between $60 million and $75 million more than the previously-released preliminary values, said Mike Abild, San Marcos CISD’s assistant superintendent for business and support services.
At a budget meeting on Monday, San Marcos CISD Superintendent Mark Eads told district trustees that he had trimmed as much as he could from the consulting fees side of the budget. Eads said school principals advised against further cuts in consultant costs. San Marcos CISD trustees had urged district staff to reduce costs related to consultant fees.
San Marcos CISD proposes $200,000 for consultant expenses next budget year. The district reduced consultant fees from $756,000 in the course of several years, said Abild. Consultant costs proposed for next budget year were originally $250,000 before the district trimmed it, as per trustees’ request.
“I think we would be remiss in not giving them (teachers and staff) the training they need,” said San Marcos CISD trustee Judy Allen at the workshop. “I trust the principals to tell us what they need. To me, it appears that they have justified this as a need.”
A large portion of consultant fees are related to training and professional development needs, said Abild.
District staff propose no change to the current tax rate of $1.35 per $100 of taxable valuation. The general fund portion of $1.04 may not be increased without voter approval.
The district anticipates a surplus of about $2,248,360 in the general fund budget in fiscal year (FY) 2012. The district projects a general fund deficit of $735,656 in FY 2013. District officials attribute the projected FY 2013 deficit to a reduction in state aid. The district anticipates losing $2.5 million in state funding in FY 2012 and an additional $1.8 million in state funding in FY 2013. Compared to FY 2011 state funding levels, there would be about $4.3 million less in FY 2013, said Abild.
School district staff propose a fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget with general fund revenues of $56,376,389 and expenditures of $54,178,029, not counting the additional $50,000 or so in revenues. The district’s general fund revenues and expenditures this year will total $57,437,809, according to Abild. Abild estimated the district’s general fund revenues in FY 2013 may be $53,442,373, and its expenditures may total $54,178,029.
In order to avoid a shortfall next year, San Marcos CISD staff propose to reduce the district’s budget in FY 2012 by cutting $3,259,780 in expenditures. The largest budget cut is in personnel, though the district has no plans to lay anyone off. Twenty-four personnel positions are proposed to be eliminated by reduction, absorption, and attrition, which will enable $1.3 million in savings, according to Abild.
The proposed FY 2012 budget includes special revenue fund revenues and expenditures of $3,568,862. Special revenue fund revenues come from local, state, and federal sources and are used for food services and facility plant maintenance and operations. The state and federal government also pay into the school district’s general fund. The current budget puts special revenue fund revenues and expenditures at $3,560,104
The proposed FY 2012 budget includes debt service fund revenues of $10,140,087 and debt service fund expenditures of $10,049,514, which yields a $90,573 surplus. The current budget puts debt service fund revenues at $10,055,990 and debt service fund expenditures at $10,044,914, which yields a surplus of $11,076.
District had $25,856,280 in reserves as of the last audit. Abild said reserves are projected to be about $26 million in FY 2012.
A public hearing on the proposed FY 2012 budget is scheduled for Aug. 15. Trustees may make changes to the budget and adopt a final plan on Aug. 29.
Allen told her colleagues she is glad the board plans to adopt a new budget more than a week after the public hearing on the budget. Allen said holding the hearing and voting on the budget the same day made her feel uncomfortable in previous years.