Earlier this month, School Business Official Georgia Gonzalez pulled back the curtain on the makings of a budget for 2019-20 that maintains instructional programs and enhances student support systems while staying within the tax cap threshold.
During the March 5 Liberty Board of Education work session, Mrs. Gonzalez presented on a preliminary budget that calls for a 0 percent tax levy increase, which is below the district’s tax levy limit. (Although this is commonly referred to as a “2 percent” cap, the law requires each district to use a multi-part formula to calculate its limit; for Liberty next year, the limit will be 3.84 percent.)
This would make it the seventh year that the district has stayed below its tax cap.
Developing the budget
The district’s revenue projections for next year’s budget began in February, shortly after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presented the state budget proposal for next year.
The state’s budget shows Liberty receiving a total state aid allocation of $28,258,032 next year, which represents an increase of $886,627 or 3.24 percent over this year. Most of that increase would come in the form of expense-driven aids, which are reimbursements for money the district already spent on BOCES services, tuition for special education students who attend schools outside of Liberty, transportation and building projects. The governor proposes to increase Liberty’s foundation aid to pay for everyday school operations by $260,218 or 1.51 percent.
Keeping the community informed
Budget development at Liberty will continue until the district adopts its budget on April 23. Mrs. Gonzalez will present additional information on the budget during the board’s March 19, April 9 and April 11 meetings. Regular budget updates will continue to be posted to the district’s website for those who are unable to attend board meetings.