Update on Budget Development
May 14, 2020
The budget development process to prepare for the 2020-21 fiscal year is in progress, and a workshop was held at the May 11 Board of Trustees meeting to update the board and community. The presentation is available here.
At the meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Scott Drillette and Director of Finance Jeff Martello explained how campus and department budgets are developed, provided an overview of all district funds – including enterprise funds, federal funds, activity accounts, student activity funds, and bond construction funds – and shared campus budget highlights divided by elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Mr. Drillette reported that preliminary certified values were received from the county in April, and showed a 13.67 percent overall increase. He broke down the increase between existing property (5.47 percent) and new property (8.20 percent). Final certified values are expected July 25, 2020.
Last year the DSISD Maintenance and Operations tax rate was lowered by approximately 10 cents as a result of House Bill 3. The district will see an additional compression in M&O tax rate this year, which will be calculated by the state and announced August 5. Based on preliminary values, the additional decrease is likely to be about 7 cents. The other portion of the tax rate is the Interest and Sinking (or Debt Service) portion. The Board must approve an overall tax rate by September. Tax bills are a product of the tax rate and the certified property value (with homestead exemptions).
Factors that influence the budget include: the number of new positions based on growth, employee salary and benefits, projected enrollment, and average daily attendance. Mr. Drillette shared some long-term projections, including consideration of potential economic impact from the pandemic.
Discussion was held regarding possible cost-of-living increases or longevity stipends for employees, including the recommendations from the recent TASB salary study. Information was shared regarding tentative plans of other districts for salary adjustments and the importance of maintaining a competitive compensation package to attract and retain quality employees. It was noted that, because of long-term prudent planning and careful management of the district’s fund balance, the district is in a strong financial position that can navigate a downturn while maintaining programs and supporting personnel.
The Board will consider adoption of the 2020-21 budget at its June 22 meeting.
This one-page fact sheet shares quick information on the budget development timetable, the parts of the budget and tax rate, and an overview of variables that contribute to budget decisions.