Past Budgets – Breaking Down the School Budget: Revenues vs. Expenditures – Understanding the Tax Levy Limit
Next Budget Vote: Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Jr./Sr. High School Gymnasium from 12-9PM
2022-2023 school year
- Adopted Budget: $23,811,377
- Adopted Increase: $889,137 (3.88%)
- Adopted Tax Levy Increase: 0.5%
- 2022-2023 Budget Booklet
2021-2022 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $22,922,240
- Budget Increase: $119,097 (0.52%)
- Tax Levy Increase: 0%
- 2021-2022 Budget Booklet
2020-2021 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $22,803,143
- Budget increase: $312,230 (1.43%)
- Tax levy increase: $99,544 (1%)
- 2020-2021 Budget Booklet
2019-20 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $22,481,913
- Budget increase: $312,731 (1.41%)
- Tax levy increase: $98,558 (1%)
- 2019-20 Budget Booklet
2018-19 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $22,169,182
- Budget increase: $384,606 (1.77 percent)
- Tax levy increase: $192,135 (1.99 percent)
2017-18 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $21,784,576
- Budget increase: $499,406 (2.35 percent)
- Tax levy increase: $145,077 (1.52 percent)
2016-17 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $21,285,170
- Budget increase: $519,254 (2.5 percent)
- Tax levy increase: $57,711 (0.61 percent)
2015-16 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $20,765,915
- Budget increase: $340,964 (1.67 percent)
- Tax levy increase: $219,732 (2.38 percent)
2014-15 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $20,424,951
- Budget increase: $235,162 (1.16 percent)
- Tax levy increase: $226,139 (2.51 percent)
2013-14 Adopted Budget
- Budget: $20,189,789
- Budget increase: $39,308 (0.2 percent)
- Tax levy increase: 2.68 percent
2012-13 Adopted Budget
Breaking Down the School Budget: Revenues vs. Expenditures
Each year, all school districts in New York state (except the “Big 5”) develop and adopt a proposed budget for the following school year. That proposed spending plan is presented to district voters for their approval at the Annual School Budget Vote on the third Tuesday in May. A school district budget must be balanced — i.e., total expenditures must equal total revenues.
What are expenditures?
An expenditure is the payment of cash or transfer of property or services for the purpose of acquiring an asset or service. In other words, expenditures are what it costs to run the school district — the “spending” side of the budget.
School districts are required to publicly report their annual expenditures using a “three-part budget” format:
- Program Budget Component: Includes items such as salaries and benefits of teachers and supervisors; instructional costs such as supplies, equipment and textbooks; and transportation operating costs.
- Administrative Budget Component: Includes items such as office and administrative costs; salaries and benefits for certified school administrators; data processing; public relations; supplies; legal fees; property insurance; and school board expenses.
- Capital Budget Component: Includes items such as all transportation capital, debt service, and lease expenditures; legal judgments and settled claims; custodial costs; and all facility costs, including service contracts, supplies, utilities, maintenance, repairs, construction, renovation, debt (payment for building projects), and leasing costs.
What are revenues?
Revenues are sources of income financing the operation of the school district. Generally, the typical sources of school district revenues are the following:
- State and federal aid: Includes an assortment of aids (Foundation aid, expense-driven aids, building aid etc.). State and federal aid amounts vary by district and change annually.
- Fund balance: A fund balance is created when the school district has money left over at the end of its fiscal year from either underspending the budget or taking in additional revenue. Part of the fund balance (appropriated fund balance) may be applied as revenues to the district’s following-year budget. A portion may also be set aside (unappropriated fund balance) to pay for emergencies or other unforeseen occurrences.
- Interest payments: For example, from money market and checking accounts.
- Misc. income: Includes items such as rental income, day-school tuition, summer school tuition, athletic admissions, and funds received for providing various services to outside organizations/agencies (e.g., transportation).
- Tax levy: The total sum the district raises in property taxes. This is generally the last piece of the revenues puzzle, after all other revenue sources are accounted for.
Tax levy vs. tax rate: What’s the difference?
Districts add up estimates of all revenue sources, and the difference between that amount and the TOTAL BUDGET AMOUNT (total expenditures) becomes the TAX LEVY. In other words, whatever cannot be funded from other sources MUST be funded through the collection of local property taxes. The TAX LEVY refers to this aggregate amount of revenues from property taxes and includes all taxes collected from all properties across all towns within the school district.
The TAX LEVY INCREASE is the difference between the tax levies (total amount of taxes to be collected) from one year to the next.
Figuring out the Tax Rate
TAX LEVY / Total Town Assessed Value (in thousands) = TAX RATE per $1,000 of assessed property value
However, given that districts are usually composed of multiple towns, things like equalization rates need to be factored in (to spread the tax burden appropriately across the towns), which is why business officials need to be the ones who figure the tax rates.
The TAX RATE INCREASE is the difference between the tax rates (amount per $1,000) from one year to the next.
Any tax rate figures used by the district during budget season are estimates. Final TAX RATES are usually set by the district in August of any given school year, after receiving finalized assessment rolls from each town and final equalization rates from the state’s Office of Real Property Services (ORPS).
Figuring out the Tax Bill
The amount a property owner pays in school taxes is determined by multiplying the TAX RATE by the Assessed Value of the property (in thousands). A property’s Assessed Value for taxing purposes may be reduced by one or more of various tax exemptions (e.g., STAR).
Understanding the Tax Levy Limit
At the end of June 2011, the New York State Legislature enacted a property tax “cap” that seeks to limit the annual increase in the tax levies of local governments and school districts. The legislation went into effect with the 2012-13 school budget.
Although the law has been referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” it does not, in fact, restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent. What it does is establish a tax levy limit (which will be determined by each district according to an eight-step, complex formula dictated by the law, and will vary by district) that determines the number of votes needed to pass a school budget.
NYS Property Tax Cap: What is it and how does it affect our schools?