B-P eyes 2013-14 budget plan

BROADALBIN – The latest draft of the 2013-14 budget for Broadalbin-Perth Central School District has about a 1 percent increase in total cost compared to the 2012-13 budget.

District Business Administrator Marco Zumbolo presented the third draft of the 2013-14 budget to the Board of Education at its meeting Monday.

“We did not make any cuts to academic or extracurricular programs right now and we are hoping we can keep it that way,” Zumbolo said.

The projected budget for 2013-14 is about $29.78 million. The adopted budget for 2012-13 totaled about $29.46 million.

Zumbolo said the district was able to reduce the spending from the last draft of the budget by more than $360,000

The most significant of these cuts were in Board of Cooperative Educational Services costs. Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES released the 2013-14 commitment forms to component school districts, Zumbolo said, and the updated budget has made changes in some of the cost estimates for BOCES programs and services.

BOCES services is projected to cost the district $2.9 million this year, which is a $21,250 or 9.8 percent decrease from last years total.

The noticeable increases in the 2013-14 proposal compared to this school year are in contractual salaries and employee/retiree benefits. Combined, the two represent a $813,913 increase compared to the 2012-13 budget.

Zumbolo said the district can likely expect a net gain in state aid of around $150,000. No other revenue is likely to increase, he said.

Zumbolo said more fund balance than initially expected will need to be used this year due to unanticipated reductions in building aid, transportation aid, and some cost-based aids.

The “maximum allowable tax levy” increase for the district, as defined by the state tax-levy cap legislation, is $771,664 – or 5.98 percent – for the 2013-14 school year.

Any tax-levy increase above 5.98 percent would require 60 percent of voters to approve it.

However, Zumbolo and Board of Education President Edward Szumowski said the board has not determined what the tax levy increase will be for this year.

“There are things we don’t know yet,” Szumowski said. “We have to wait for the state government to make decisions on our funding and that will play the largest factor in our decision. We would certainly like to avoid the 5.98 percent because that is a large number and we don’t want to burden the taxpayers with a large increase.”

Last year, the board passed a tax levy increase of 3.32 percent.

The draft includes reinstating all junior varsity and modified sports programs that were eliminated last year to cut costs.

The third draft budget that shows all of the district expenditures will be available on the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District website.

The budget vote is scheduled for May 21.