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Budget vote on May 15

Tax levy remains lower than 2012-13

On Tuesday, May 15, residents of the Central Valley School District will go to the polls to vote on the district’s proposed $47,500,000 budget for the 2018-19 school year. The proposal would increase spending 5.61 percent or $2,525,000 more than the current year. This would result in a 1.94 percent or $164,000 tax levy increase. The proposed levy is less than the district’s tax levy limit and will require a simple majority of greater than 50 percent of voters for approval.

The major increase in the budget is due to the start of bond payments for the district’s capital project. State building aid will pay for 98 percent of that increase. Other increases, such as salaries and benefits, rose as anticipated.

“The important point when looking at the budget is to understand we are keeping the two main promises made when we merged,” said Superintendent Jeremy Rich.

“We are protecting our taxpayers and we have broadened our educational offerings. Our tax levy remains lower than it was in 2012-13, before the merger. At the same time, students have more courses and extracurricular activities and increased access to technology.”

A solid fiscal plan for the future

One of the board of education’s ongoing goals is to ensure the district’s finances remain strong into the future, protecting programs and taxpayers as merger incentive aid declines.

“We enjoyed the cushion of an extra $4.4 million in state merger aid for each of the first five years after we merged,” said Mr. Rich.

“That aid will now decline by roughly $440,000 each year until it expires in 2028-29. We have carefully used that money to help fund the capital project and to make one-time purchases. We cannot go forward relying on temporary revenue to pay our regular expenses.”

For that reason, Mr. Rich is working with administrators and staff to implement a simple formula. For each dollar spent on new programs or staff, there must be a corresponding one-dollar reduction somewhere else.

“We are in education and there are unlimited places where we could spend more to improve the education we offer our students,” he said.

“But we must run our district like we run our homes. We must live within our budget.”

For more on the budget, visit our budget page