CALENDAR OF BUDGET & ELECTION ACTIVITIES
- Dec. 22: Principals & managers submit budget requests
- Mid-January: Announcement of Governor’s budget proposals
- Jan. 21: Compiled budget requests & reference materials shared with BOE
- Jan. 27: Finance Committee Mtg, re: Gov.’s proposals & budget material, 7 p.m., BH-BL HS Board Room
- Feb. 2: Budget update* during regular BOE Mtg, 7 p.m., HS Library
- Feb. 9: Finance Committee Mtg, 6 pm
- Feb. 16: Budget update* during regular BOE Mtg, 7 p.m., Location TBD
- March 1 : Submit tax levy limit information to state comptroller
- March 9: Finance Committee Mtg., 6 pm, HS Board Room
- March 9: Budget update* during regular BOE Mtg, 7 p.m., Location TBD
- March 23: Approve referenda & notice of annual mtg at BOE Mtg, 7 p.m., Location TBD
- April 5: Superintendent’s recommendations to BOE
- April 6: Finance Committee Mtg re: Superintendent’s recommendations, 7 p.m., HS Board Room
- April 7: Budget Forum 7 p.m., Spartan Center LGR (HS)
- April 11: Finance Committee Mtg, 6 p.m. (if needed), HS Board Room
- April 13: Adopt Proposed 2022-23 Budget at Regular BOE Mtg, 7 p.m., Location TBD
- April 14: Property Tax Report Card submitted to SED
- April 18: BOE candidates’ filing deadline
- April 25: Draft budget newsletter to BOE (tentative)
- May 3: Budget Hearing as part of regular BOE Mtg, 7 p.m., Location TBD
- May 3: Budget materials available in all schools & on district website
- May 3-17: Outreach to inform school groups & community about 2022-23 budget
- May 4: Budget notice & newsletter mailed to residents
- May 12: Meet-the-Candidates Night, 7 p.m., Location TBD
- May 17: Public Budget Vote, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., High School gymnasium
* If needed, a Finance Committee meeting will be held at 6 p.m. prior to the regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting.
2022-23 Budget Objectives
In developing the budget, the Board of Education will:
- Work to balance the community’s desire for both excellent school programs and reasonable taxes by critically evaluating current practices, proposed expenditures, and revenue sources other than taxes
- Promote opportunities that provide students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes outlined in the district’s 21st Century Framework for Learning document so they can compete in a demanding and technologically sophisticated global marketplace and lead successful and civically engaged lives. This includes support for innovative instructional models and programs that have proven to be effective ways to deliver services, as well as support for the professional development necessary for such innovation.
- Monitor activities at the state level related to aid allocations, regulations, and policies and advocate for the interests of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD students.
Context for Developing the 2022-23 Budget
As we approach the development process for the 2022-23 budget, we are looking to build upon the processes we have used in the past as well as account for the different environment we find ourselves in moving forward. In particular, we need to carefully evaluate the use of the temporary federal funding we were given (ESSR, GEER, ARP) and properly “parachute” or “on-ramp” those expenditures during the course of the 2022-23 and 2023-4 budgets. As always, we will strive to come through this process with a student-centered, forward-thinking budget that carefully evaluates the educational and financial impact of those decisions over both the short and long term.
As a point of reference for this budget development cycle, 1% of the BH-BL property tax levy is roughly $433,381. Therefore, every $433,381 in additional expense—or lost revenue—that is not ultimately balanced by new revenue or reductions elsewhere in the budget results in roughly a 1% tax levy increase.
- Two areas of potential increase for the 2022-23 school year may be costs associated with required contributions to the NYS Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) and Transfers to the Capital Fund. NYSTRS has projected the employer contribution rate to be between 10 and 10.5% of applicable payroll which is an increase from the 9.8% contribution rate that is applicable to the 2021-22 school year. There is currently a draft project in place to address deteriorated pavement in the high School student parking lot which would be covered through a Transfer to Capital line in the general fund budget. While this will be an increase to the 2022-23 budget, a corresponding increase in revenue from the debt service fund will very likely result in this project having no impact on either the property tax cap or property tax levy for 2022-23 and beyond.
- We have received guidance that the starting point for the tax cap calculation for the 2022-23 budget year will be 2% due to the increased rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. It should be noted that with the current rate of inflation being well over 5%, a starting point of the tax cap of 2% will present increased challenges as our ability to raise revenue at the local level will likely not be sufficient to keep pace with increasing expenditures associated with inflation.
- BH-BL is fortunate its residents by and large support high-quality programs when balanced by reasonable taxes. The June 2021 budget proposition, which was within the district’s tax levy cap, was approved by a nearly 78% passing rate which is the highest level of support the district has seen for a budget proposition since at least 1980.
- Since the 2014-15 school year, weighted average tax rate increases have averaged 1.37% due to controlled expenditure growth and increased assessed value from new construction in the district. (See chart below: It should be noted that the weighted average increase in the district’s tax rates over this time period is slightly less than the rate of inflation over the same time period.)
- Long-range financial planning and careful control of spending have helped BH-BL maintain a balanced budget over the years.