Proposed Shaker budget up just half percent

BELMONT — The Shaker Regional School Board approved a $21-million budget proposal Tuesday night that represents a 0.55 percent increase for school year 2014-2015.

The final proposed amount is $21,071,598, which is up $114,589 from the $20,957,009 that was approved by district voters last year.

The amount to be raised by taxes in Belmont is projected at $8,552,487, or 0.06 percent — up from this year's budget of $8,547,108. In Canterbury, the amount to be raised by taxes in school year 2024-2015 is projected at $245,362,196 up 10 percent from this school year.

In 2014-15, Belmont taxpayers will pay for 74.8 percent of budget while Canterbury will pay 25.2 percent.

School District Business Administrator Deb Thompson said the reason Belmont's percentage of the amount to be raised by taxes fell and Canterbury's rose is because of equalized property value changes — or that portion of the contribution formula that takes into account the total value of the property in both towns.

Belmont's total valuation is expected to drop, lessening the amount of total valuation they its contribution to to the district for 2015. Conversely, Canterbury's total valuation is expected to increase. The net decrease to Belmont taxpayers is $142,000.

About 80 percent of the students enrolled in district schools are from Belmont.

These shifts in percentages also change the way the state apportions it's statewide property tax distributions.

Thompson said proposed budget includes $160,000 for curriculum and incorporates an effective net increase of 11.2 percent for health insurance premiums.

One way the district was able to save some money next year was the announced retirement of six retirement-eligible teachers this year. Thompson anticipates those position will be filled by teachers who are not in the top rungs of the pay-scale ladder.

This year's budget is also the first budget since the bond for the high school has been retired.

There are no capital projects included in this year's proposed budget and the only warrant article to date is for $50,000 of any budget surplus from next year to be moved into the School Facilities and Expendable Trust Fund.