On May 13, Hamburg Area school directors approved a proposed final budget in the amount of $44,009,508 that includes no tax increase for the 2019-20 school year.

The proposed final budget includes a $1,918,688 deficit with revenues totaling $42,090,820.

"We budget conservatively," Business Manager Michele Zimmerman said. "Regarding revenues we estimate low and we err on the high side when budgeting expenditures.

"We put in the maximum amount for one special ed student who's coming in (to the district) but we're not sure of the level of support needed."

While the business manager is not expecting increases in federal revenues and is unsure about state increases, Zimmerman said that there are more opportunities for local revenue.

Industrial growth in the area has allowed the district to benefit from $14 million in real estate tax assessments with an additional $17 million expected next year, according to Zimmerman.

"$1 million in assessed value equals to $25,000 in revenue," Zimmerman said.

"There are some significant real estate benefits," Superintendent Dr. Richard Mextorf said. "We don't know when or how much. We won't put them in the budget."

Some of the big drivers on the expenditures side of the ledger include retirement contributions, medical insurance costs, charter school tuition and special education costs.

Retirement contributions ($6.03 million) and medical insurance ($3.83 million) increased by 6.5 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively.

Charter school and special education tuition have been budgeted at $1.15 million and $1.32 million, respectively.

As for the $1,918,688 budgeted deficit, neither Zimmerman nor Mextorf expect to finish the year at that amount.

The budget for the current school year reflected a $950,413 deficit with no tax increase and Zimmerman projects the district to break even or have a small surplus at year's end.

"I'm not saying trust us," Mextorf said. "But look at our track record."

The district would use its fund balance, currently at $10 million, to offset any year-end deficit.

The district's current millage rate is 26.96.

A homeowner would have to pay $2,696 in property taxes on a property assessed at $100,000.

A vote is scheduled for final budget approval on June 17.

If approved at that time it would mark consecutive budget years in which taxes were not increased after nine consecutive years of .25 mill increases.

comments powered by Disqus