District budget seeks tax increase

GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville Enlarged School District will keep its proposed 2014-15 budget under the state-imposed tax cap, district officials said Tuesday.

Assistant Superintendent Steven Schloicka said the budget proposal’s estimated property tax levy is $14.08 million, which is $343,302, or 2.5 percent, higher than the current tax levy.

During Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Schloicka presented the district’s revenue report for the proposed budget.

The $62 million budget proposal is up $3.1 million, or 5.4 percent, from the current budget. The proposal projects $61.7 million in revenues, including $39.7 million in state aid and $8 million in other revenue, in addition to the local property-tax levy. The proposal calls for the use of $1.2 million from the district’s fund balance, leaving about $1.9 million in that account.

Schloicka said the budget would stay under the state-imposed tax-levy cap, which is 3.6 percent for the Gloversville district.

At a March 14 school board meeting, Superintendent Michael Vanyo said the total proposed expenses were roughly $62.4 million and included a spending increase of $3.9 million over the current budget. Since then, the district made some changes.

“We cleaned up some of the items in the budget,” Vanyo said.

Schloicka said the reductions in the proposed budget came from adjustments to the health insurance for teachers, saving more than $500,000, and lower BOCES costs.

School board member Joseph Andrews said he is concerned about the amount of state aid.

According to Schloicka’s presentation, the percentage of state aid has gone down since 2009-10, when it paid for 71 percent of the $50.6 million budget. In 2014-15, state aid covers a projected 64 percent of the budget.

Andrews said this is a concern because many city residents live on a fixed income or Social Security.

“You spend more and you get less from the state, and that is my biggest concern,” Andrews said.

The school board could make more changes to the budget before it goes to the public for a vote May 20.

Vanyo said the amount of state aid for the district could go up in the state budget.

Any additional aid, Vanyo said, could be used to lower the tax levy.

The budget proposal includes money for two more teachers, a pay increase for substitute teachers, and more college-level courses and support services.

The instructional side of the budget is $28.7 million for 2014-15, with an increase of $1.2 million, or 4.4 percent, according to meeting documents.

Just over 68 percent of the instructional side of the budget is for salary expenses, while about 21 percent is the cost of Board of Cooperative Educational Services, according to documents.

The board will hold a public hearing on the budget May 6.

Budget numbers

Here are some numbers from the proposed Gloversville Enlarged School District budget for 2014-15:

General fund total: $62 million.

Budget increase: $3.1 million, or 5.4 percent.

Projected tax levy increase: $343,302, or 2.5 percent.

Projected revenues: $61.7 million.

Projected state aid: $39.7 million.

Other revenues: $8 million.