Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year's Budget Process

Happy New Year!  2013 is already shaping up to be as tense a school budget year as 2012 was.  This is an important week for information about the upcoming 2013-14 budget development process.

On Tuesday, Potsdam Central's Board of Education will have their first meeting of the year.  During information from the Superintendent, the preliminary report from Governor Cuomo's Education Reform Commission will be reviewed.  View the agenda here: Potsdam BOE Agenda 1-08-13

On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo will give his State of the State address, during which there are usually hints regarding his budget proposal, including funds to be allocated for education.  The actual proposal will be released later in the month.

On Thursday, the Potsdam BOE Finance Committee will meet at  6 PM in the High School Library.  Expect review of almost everything except instruction, supervision and staffing, benefits and special education.  Those topics wait until January 29th.

One of the most interesting omissions on both school board agendas will be lack of discussion of the Preliminary Strategic Budget Plan.  When I attended the Finance Committee meeting on December 18th, there was a presentation by all of the supervisors regarding the cuts that were being proposed to begin addressing the $1.5 million dollar funding gap.  A copy of the document being reviewed on the computers sitting at the table was not made available to the public (me) and still has not been released, although anyone with the correct password can access it. 

For a look at the timeline for Potsdam's budget process this year, go to: Budget Calendar 2013-14

Another topic to keep on your radar is the Town of Potsdam's revaluation process which is expected to be complete in time for this year's new assessment rolls.  I predict that the rolls will increase substantially allowing the School Board to exceed the tax cap and demonstrate that the taxes on a $100,000 house will go down (Assessment goes up, tax rate goes down if taxes to be collected remains the same).  However, keep in mind that it is likely that the assessment of that $100,000 property is going to increase so much that the taxpayer will end up paying more for their school taxes. 

Just my opinion.

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