Sulphur Springs ISD Trustees Anticipate Passing Balanced Budget Later This Month

Sulphur Springs ISD trustees anticipate passing a balanced budget later this month.

District Business Manager Sherry McGraw told the school board that the SSISD 2022-2023 budget is within $10,000 of that goal, and after making adjustments for the most recent round of personnel changes to get the district at full staff and a few other tweaks with more stabile projection available in August than June.

SSISD Business Manager Sherry McGraw

That’s an improvement over the budget information presented at a June 14 workshop, when projections showed the district to be $1.53 million overbudget. At that time, the budget was figured using 2021-2022 student counts, a 98% tax collection rate and an $0.872 maintenance and operations tax rate. The business office too was only able to use estimated local property tax values as certified appraisal values weren’t released until late July. District administrators also had several staffing changes to make that had yet to be factored into the budget.

Because there were so many variables yet to be factored in and still to be determined, McGraw asked the school board if they could skip the July meeting when things were so indefinite, in favor of presenting at the regular school board meeting a budget with most of the staffing changes and using 2022 certified local property tax values to figure revenues factored in. The school board agreed.

On Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, McGraw noted the overall budget, which was still being shaped, was only $10,825 over budget. McGraw said she feels confident with the staffing adjustments — the new staff, resignations and staff being moved around as of Monday night — factored in and other adjustments the business office will be able to present a balance FY 2022-2023 budget for the the school board to consider approving later this month.

McGraw noted that the certified tax values released in July are 8% higher than the estimated property tax values within the school district. Overall estimated revenues for SSISD for FY 2022-2023 are expected to increase from the $41,199,704 million projected on June 14, 2022, to $42,579,296 projected overall revenues on. 8, 2022.

The 8% increase in values meant the compressed tax rate, figured using a formula established by the state, will change from $0.8721 to $0.08546. However, McGraw said, it should be noted that an increase in local tax values and revenues means an adjustment in state revenues too. When local revenue goes up, state revenue goes down.

In June, SSISD anticipated receiving $22.7 million in state revenue (based on the template provided to districts), $2.3 million in state revenue for TRS on behalf of staff, $15,059,644 in local property tax collections, and another $1,092,701 in miscellaneous revenue such as tax penalties paid in. Typically, misc. revenues includes about $600,000 in federal funding that was not included in the June projections.

On Aug. 8, 2022, McGraw said the total 2022-2023 revenue was estimated to include $22,393,965 in state revenue, $2,574,097 state revenue (TRS), $16,008,733 in local tax revenue, and misc. revenues are projected to increase to $1,602,501.

Total estimated expenditures for FY 2022-2023 were projected to be $42,729,790 in June 2022. Payroll with fringe benefits was estimated in June was projected to cost $36,588,098, preliminary campus and department budgets at $7,816,005 and additional items in department budgets were expected to be $1674,313.

On Aug. 8, the working budget presented to the school board by McGraw removed the additional department and campus budget requests and figured payroll with fringe was projected at $36,194,623 and preliminary campus and department budgets (which have been prioritized expected to cost another $6,395,498.

The June projections also included purchase of one bus, one maintenance truck and one police car. The police vehicle was removed from the budget projection presented Aug. 8, 2022. McGraw noted that the police car was removed because it was actually purchased this year and finally arrived in June.

When asked by SSISD Board Trustee John Prickette, McGraw affirmed the district does not have any money tied up in Robin Hood plans.

Of course, there are still local funds dedicated to special purposes that are not part of those figures. This includes food service, debt service, capital projects, worker’s compensation, technology self-insurance and scholarship funds. Overall, these funds increase the overall district revenue projected for FY 22-23 to $51,278,720 and expenses to $48,689,997.

Food services are expected to cost about $2,569,900, almost $2,000 less than the district anticipates taking in during FY 22-23. The food service fund is expected to end FY 2021-2022 on Aug. 31, 2022, leaving a $569,100 fund balance. The food service fund balance is expected to be about $570,200 when FY 2022-23 ends on Aug. 31, 2023.

Debt service, debts paid by the issuance and sinking portion of the SSISD ad valorem tax rate, is expected to bring in roughly $5.8 million, with expenditures projected at $3.2 million to carry over for future payments. The debt service fund balance is expected to be about $4.8 million on Aug. 31, 2022, and to be $7.4 million on Aug. 31, 2023, according to information presented by the business office at the Aug 8, 2022, school board meeting.

The district projects $182,000 to be raised for workers compensation fund, but has projected spending only $177,000, which would still leave a small amount of wiggle room in this fund if expenses come in higher. The workers compensation fund balance is projected to contain $194,000 on Aug. 31, 2022, and to contain $199,000 on Aug. 31, 2023.

Expenses for three special purpose funds are budgeted only at the amount SSISD anticipates receiving in revenue. The district is budgeting $119,594 for capital projects, $5,000 for technology self insurance and $5,786 to the scholarship fund.

Author: KSST Contributor

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