School Board to request budget of $36.3-million

LACONIA — The School Board will present a maximum 2014-5015 budget request of $36,293,552 to the City Council on March 24 at 6 p.m.

The amount to be raised by taxes local taxes will be $17,669,159, which is up $672,488 while the amount to be raised by the statewide property tax is projected to be $4,608,269, which is down $118,146, for a net increase in local taxes of $554,340.

School Business Administrator Ed Emond said $36.3 million was calculated for tax cap purposes based on a Consumer Price Index-Urban or inflation rate of 1.5 and $19 million of net property value increases.

Traditionally, the school district figures its own budget by multiplying the dollar amount of the captured value of property taxes — the $19 million — by the 2013 school tax rate of of $12.06 per $1,000 evaluation. The city portion of that is $9.40, and the statewide property tax portion is $2.66.

Emond explained that the way the final school budget is determined is by calculating the maximum amount allowed under the tax cap, presenting that number to the city, and waiting for their acceptance of the total amount of money allocated to the school.

At that point, the School Board takes its priorities and "backs in" to the line-by-line budget that will be finalized by the School Board sometime in May or June. The city has until July to vote on a final budget that will include the school budget.

In other business, Superintendent Terri Forsten said the last day of school will be June 13 as was presented on the school calender in the fall of 2013.

Forsten said the school has used five snow days so far this year. But she said the number of hours the students have been in school satisfies state requirements.

"We can't take too many more (snow days) before we reach the (point where the school will have to add days to the calendar), she said with fingers crossed. "We will surpass (the number of hours) with 175 days."

High School graduation is scheduled for June 7, a Saturday, and the Laconia Academy graduation is scheduled for the Friday night before the high school graduation.