Letter to the Editor: The RSU #73 school budget
Information regarding the RSU #73 Budget. Some people have asked me why we can't maintain the 2011-2012 budget for the 2013 school year. The RSU 73 Budget is comprised of the local taxes raised in addition to state and Federal programs that contribute revenue to help us run our school system.
For the past three years, the Federal Job's Bill, provided financial assistance to stabilize school systems to help keep our teachers employed. In addition, the estimated 2012 revenue being generated by Fayette students was corrected for a more accurate revenue picture. Combined the revenue line for this year's budget was $763,539.00 less than the previous year. To increase the budget by $330,589.00 really means that we have cut $432,950.00 in the INITIAL presentation of our budget to the taxpayers.
Some people asked me why Jay is being asked to pay $8.9 million, Livermore $1.5 million and Livermore Falls, $1.4 million. The total of which is $12 million in local taxes. The total budget is $18.7 million. The towns of Livermore and Livermore Falls are high RECEIVERS of state subsidy together they generate $5,220,217.00 of State aid. Local taxes and state aid combined, contribute $8,120,217.00. This helps all of our children and when you compare population of all three towns and the money generated by local taxes AND state revenue the picture is extremely even per population for payment to our school systems. Jay only generates $273,898.00 of state aid (payment of our middle school) . Other revenue comes from medicaid and grants.
In support of the 2008-2009 budget in Jay, taxpayers were asked to contribute $10,235,086. In 2013 we are asking taxpayers to contribute $8,929,826.00. In Livermore the request in 2009 was $1,659,342.00 and in Livermore Falls the town raised for support of their schools $1,573,982.60. Why are you not paying less in your tax bill? Perhaps the local mill closing, valuation changes and other factors are contributing to your tax bill. In a document provided by the Jay Tax Assessor, it was noted that in 2002, the Mil rate for education in Jay was $10.27 in 2009 it was $8.47 and in 2012 the Mil rate is $7.00.
Finally, the contingency line of the 2013 budget has $300,000.00 in it, this is for contract negotiations. If you do not have money in a contingency fund than the school system will be liable for not negotiating in “good faith.” In addition a child may need a service that we do not know yet, and we must have some money to pull from for these unknown expenses. If the money is not used then it will be applied to the 2014 budget and reduce the tax burden.
If you have further questions I would encourage people to contact school personnel at 897-3936. Please remember to vote on August 21.
Vice-chair, RSU #73