The South Eastern School District is facing a $2.1 million gap in its 2014-15 budget.

Superintendent Rona Kaufmann presented preliminary numbers for the budget at a school board meeting Thursday night.

Those numbers indicate estimated revenue of $48.2 million, but estimated expenses of $50.3 million.

Among factors pushing expenses higher are increases in health care costs, retirement contributions and utilities, school officials said.

The school board faces a 2.7 percent property tax cap, established by the state, and has already decided not to raise taxes above that amount.

The school board's tax rate is 21.5 mills. A 2.7 percent tax hike would raise that rate to about 22.1 mills and result in a tax hike of about $87 on a $150,000 home.

Even if the board chose to raise taxes by 2.7 percent, the district would still face a $1.37 million budget gap.

The board could see savings from retirements and generate new revenue through a higher activity fee.

The current activity fee is $25 and generated $13,000 this past year. Increasing the fee to $50 could bring in an additional $10,000.

As for retirements, the district has 10 professional employees with 34 or more years of service.

Though no retirements have been reported yet, the district could save money by not replacing all retirees.

More details about the budget will be discussed during the school board's 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, meeting at the district administration building.



Advertisement