2016-17 School Budget

 

F-M voters approve $79.6 million budget; elect three board members

On May 17, Fayetteville-Manlius School District voters approved the district’s $79.6 million 2016-17 budget proposal, elected three board of education members and approved five bus purchases, as well as adding a student member to the school board.  

The following results include the absentee ballots.

Voters approved:

  • A $79,619,741 budget for the 2016-17 school year that increases spending 0.89 percent ($702,350) and carries a 1.88 percent tax levy increase: 1,738 yes;  519 no;
  • Authorizing the F-M Board of Education to add a nonvoting student member to the board: 1,854 yes; 397 no;
  • Purchasing five new school buses at a total cost not to exceed $592,908: 1,684 yes; 559 no;
  • Supporting the Fayetteville Free Library, $1,790,584: 1,408 yes; 833 no; and
  • Supporting The Manlius Library, $1,263,965: 1,495 yes; 741 no.

Six candidates sought election to three open board of education seats. They are:

  • Daryll Fitch Wheeler: 1,429 votes;
  • Incumbent Elena Romano: 1,044 votes;
  • Incumbent Kim Swanson: 903 votes;
  • Matthew Napierala: 901 votes;
  • Mary McGuire: 761 votes; and
  • Nancy K. McDaniel: 719 votes.

The terms are three years, beginning July 1 and will be filled by Daryll Fitch Wheeler, Elena Romano and Kim Swanson.

“We appreciate our residents taking the time out of their busy days to head to the polls and vote,” said Superintendent Craig J. Tice. “With this budget in place, we believe we will be able to continue fulfilling our district mission of providing all students with an excellent education, as well as being a school district our community can be proud to call its own.”

The 2016-17 tax levy increase of 1.88 percent is below the district’s calculated tax levy limit of 1.89 percent, per the state’s property tax levy cap law. The limit does not cap how much a district can raise through property taxes. Instead, it determines at what level a school district must have a supermajority (60 percent) rather than a simple majority (50 percent plus one) approve the budget proposal.

Because F-M proposed a budget with a tax levy increase lower than its allowable limit, the budget required a simple majority vote for authorization.

In addition to the budget, voters authorized the board to add a non-voting student member. The student will attend all public board meetings and be allowed to participate in all public discussion and voice opinions. The student member will not be allowed to attend executive or exempt sessions, which are portions of the meeting in which the law allows board members to discuss privately matters such as proposed, pending or current litigation. 

 


2016-17 School Budget Information

Budget at-a-glance

Budget: $79,619,741

Budget Increase: $702,350 or 0.89%

School Tax Levy: $58,337,317 

Estimated School Tax Levy Increase: $1,078,420 or 1.88% 

 


 

Proposed F-M school budget increases spending 0.89 percent

Of nearly 700 New York state public school districts, Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District is one of only 156 slated to receive no increase to its base operating aid from the state to support the district’s 2016-17 budget.

“With no increase to our base operating aid for the 2016-17 school year, the district is focused on maintaining the programs and services we already have in place,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said.

The F-M Board of Education approved a $79,619,741 proposed budget with a budget-to-budget spending increase of 0.89 percent, or $702,350, compared to the current school year. The proposed tax levy increase is 1.88 percent, or $1,078,420, which is less than the district’s tax levy limit increase, or cap, of 1.89 percent.  

A public hearing on the budget will be held during the F-M Board of Education’s 6:30 p.m. May 9 meeting held in the auditorium at Eagle Hill Middle School.

State Legislators approved a final state budget without the Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA, which was proposed to take back $623,821 from the F-M district in 2016-17. The state used the GEA over the past seven years to take back from F-M more than $18 million in promised state aid. Without the GEA, the district is slated to receive the same amount of foundation aid that was proposed last year, about $18.5 million.

The district has two primary sources of revenue to fund its operating budget: the tax levy, which is the amount of money the district collects from property owners within the district to support the school budget, and state aid. F-M’s state aid allocation accounts for about 24 percent of the budget’s total revenues. Property taxes make up 73 percent, and approximately 3 percent is from other revenue sources such as county sales tax and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements. 

With the GEA restoration, the district is budgeting a $438,135 increase in state aid.

“We are grateful that government officials have restored the GEA funds for next year, but we must continue to advocate for an increase in foundation aid in the future,” Dr. Tice said.

Without a foundation aid increase and given the district’s desire to stay under its tax levy limit, the district is proposing to use $725,000 of fund balance and the following reductions totaling $1,057,813 to balance the budget:

  • $430,200 salaries: retirements, attrition, reductions
  • $153,298 equipment: eliminate maintenance requests
  • $175,000 reduced capital transfer: maintenance projects
  • $152,315 supplies: 10 percent reduction in materials, supplies and textbooks
  • $147,000 utilities: reduced gas and electric due to lower rates

 


What goes into a school budget and how are those things paid for?

Watch this short Budget 101 video to find out.  

 

 
 

Board approves F-M budget proposal, vote set for May 17

April 12, 2016: Of nearly 700 New York state public school districts, Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District is one of only 156 slated to receive no increase to its base operating aid from the state to support the district’s 2016-17 operating budget. 

On April 1, state Legislators approved a final state budget without the use of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA, which was proposed to take back $623,821 from the F-M district. The state used the GEA over the past seven years to take back more than $18 million in promised state aid from F-M. Without the GEA, the district is slated to receive the same amount of foundation aid that was proposed last year, about $18.5 million. 

“With no increase to our base operating aid for the 2016-17 school year, the district is focused on maintaining the programs and services we already have in place,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said.

On April 4, the F-M Board of Education approved a $79,619,741 proposed budget with a budget-to-budget spending increase of 0.89 percent, or $702,350, compared to the current school year. The proposed tax levy increase is 1.88 percent, or $1,078,420, which is less than the district’s tax levy limit increase, or cap, of 1.89 percent. 

District residents will have the final say on budget authorization May 17 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Fayetteville Elementary School.

The district has two primary sources of revenue to fund its operating budget: the tax levy, which is the amount of money the district collects from property owners within the district to support the school budget, and state aid. F-M’s state aid allocation accounts for about 24 percent of the budget’s total revenues. Property taxes make up 73 percent, and approximately 3 percent is from other revenue sources such as county sales tax and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements. 

Now that the GEA has been restored, the district is budgeting an increase of $438,135 in state aid.

“We are grateful that government officials have restored the funds withheld by the GEA for next year, but we must continue to advocate for an increase in foundation aid in the future,” Dr. Tice said.

Without an increase in foundation aid and the district’s desire to stay under its tax levy limit, the administration is proposing to use $725,000 of fund balance and the following reductions totaling $1,057,813 to balance the budget:

 

$430,200 salaries: retirement breakage, attrition, reductions

$153,298 equipment: eliminate maintenance requests

$175,000 reduced capital transfer: maintenance projects

$152,315 supplies: 10 percent reduction in materials, supplies and textbooks

$147,000 utilities: reduced gas and electric due to lower rates

 

 


 

Budget reductions necessary to remain under projected tax levy limit

 

Jan. 27, 2016: Fayetteville-Manlius School District administrators are taking a hard look at their proposed spending for the 2016-17 school year as the business office wrestles with a potential reduction of $1.1 million to balance the proposed budget at or under the district’s anticipated tax levy limit, or tax cap.

“There are several factors stressing the budget development process at this point, including the state’s continued use of the Gap Elimination Adjustment,” Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. “The state is again proposing to take back from F-M $1 million in promised state aid through the GEA–money that the district could use to support our existing programs and services, including athletics and extracurricular activities.”

On Jan. 13, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his Executive Budget Proposal, which included the state taking back $1 million in aid from F-M through the GEA. To date, the state has taken back from F-M about $18 million in promised state aid.

The governor’s overall spending plan contained a $991 million total school aid increase, which represents a 4.3 percent increase in state education funding, bringing it to a total of $24.2 billion next school year. However, the proposed year-to-year increase is less than half of what the state Board of Regents and statewide education groups have said schools need next year to ensure students’ success.

Under the governor’s proposal, F-M’s Foundation Aid, which is the district’s base operating aid from the state, would remain flat compared to the current 2015-16 budget. Funding for the district’s operating budget comes from two main sources–state aid and the tax levy, which is the total amount of money the district collects from local property tax owners. Other smaller revenue sources, such as Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) agreements and county sales tax, make up the district’s remaining revenue sources.  

If F-M’s current revenue projections remain the same and the Legislative budget proposal doesn’t eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment, F-M officials are estimating that the district will need to cut about $1.1 million from its spending plan in order to comply with the projected tax cap.

“This will force the district to make significant budget cuts to be at or under its tax levy limit, which we estimate to be about 1.89 percent,” said Michael Vespi, F-M’s assistant superintendent for business services. “We are reviewing all of our current and proposed spending.”

The tax levy limit, which determines what level of voter support a district needs to pass its budget, won’t be final until state aid allocations are finalized. Mr. Vespi is recommending the district not exceed its limit, which would then require a supermajority of voters (60 percent) to authorize the budget.

The Executive Budget Proposal formally opens the budget negotiations between the governor and the New York State Legislature. In the coming months, the Assembly and the Senate will also release budget proposals. Legislators have until April 1 to adopt an on-time state budget.

District residents will have an opportunity to vote on F-M’s final budget proposal 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 17, 2016, at Fayetteville Elementary School.

 

 


 

November 2015: As New York state school districts build their 2016-17 budgets, many will make program and staff cuts because of an expected near 0 percent inflationary rate that will be included in the tax levy limit formula, dubbed by politicians and the media as the "2 percent cap." 

The tax levy limit law, enacted in June 2011, includes an eight-step formula that each school district must use to calculate its individual "tax levy limit." In particular, the calculation adjusts a district's tax levy to reflect growth in the local tax base (if any) and the rate of inflation or 2 percent (whichever is lower). For 2016-17, the rate of inflation is expected to be near 0 percent.

"Given the way the formula is structured, many districts will be restricted in how much they can increase the tax levy before reaching the point where they will need a supermajority of voters to approve the budget, which is risky," said F-M's Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Michael Vespi. "If they do not receive adequate state aid, and they don't want to risk a failed budget vote, districts may instead turn to reducing programs, services and possibly staff."

Any proposed tax levy amount above a district's calculated limit will require budget approval by a supermajority (60 percent or more) of voters. Essentially, the tax levy limit sets a threshold requiring districts to obtain a higher level of community support for a proposed tax levy above a certain amount.

The tax levy and state aid are school districts' primary sources of revenue. Other sources include grants, federal funds and payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreements, but they are typically much smaller revenue streams. The  tax levy makes up 72.6 percent of F-M's 2015-16 revenue and state aid is 23.7 percent. All other sources make up 3.7 percent of the revenue.

The matter is compounded by the state's use of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which district leaders hope will be eliminated for 2016-17. For the past seven years, the state has taken back a portion of the state aid it allocated to school districts as a way to close the state's budget gap. Since 2009-10, the state has taken back $18.3 million from F-M in what was first called the Deficit Reduction Act and then the Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA.

More budget information is available through the links on the left side of this page, under the "School Budget" section. 

Some content courtesy of Capital Region BOCES School Communications Portfolio; Copyright 2015; All rights reserved. For more information or permission to use, call 518-464-3960.

 

 

 








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