With a series of changes to the budget for the 2014-15 school year, the York Suburban school district might be able to stay within its tax cap.
The board is planning several reductions to reduce its original budget gap of $1.2 million. As a result, that gap has been reduced to $821,478, said Corrine Mason, the district's director of finances and support services.
Mason said there are still many unknowns in the budget process. But if everything stands as it is now, the board will most likely approve a budget with a 2.2 percent tax increase, just above the 2.1 percent state-imposed tax cap. That is an increase in taxes of $69 for a homeowner with a $150,000 property, up just $3 from a tax increase that matches the tax cap.
Mason said the goal is to continue looking at options to reduce the budget gap so the board can stay within the cap.
Savings: At the board meeting Monday, Mason presented four groups of reductions that will contribute to the district's savings.
First are 12 anticipated retirements and resignations, which would save the district $310,404.
The second set of reductions combines non-public transportation runs and includes a one-month period when the district will not pay into its self-funded account for medical insurance claims. Mason said the fund has built up over time and is well above the recommended amount. The second set also includes estimated savings from students returning to the district from charter schools. Those three measures total $472,142 in savings.
The third set of deductions includes the elimination of the facilities and communications education position, which will be vacant after the person holding the position retires this year. The cost and insurance from that position, additional charter school reductions and other cost cuts come to $105,719 in savings.
Lastly, the district anticipates receiving an extra $90,257 in basic education funds from the state.
The board applied for exceptions to raise taxes above the cap earlier this year, with a maximum increase of 3.4 percent to the district's 21-mill tax rate, Mason said. A 3.4 percent increase would cost the owner of a $150,000 an extra $107 in taxes.
Current estimates show the tax increase will be well below that, but Mason reiterated it's too soon for guarantees.
"There's still a lot that can happen between now and when the board approves the budget," Mason said.
— Shannon Prusak contributed to this report. Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.