Crestwood Approves Proposed Budget With 2.4% Tax Increase

Six out of eight school directors present voted yes to present the 2015 -16 Budget for public review at Crestwood’s May 21 meeting, under the leadership of President Jerry Orloski.

The Proposed Final Budget carries a 2.4 % tax increase, explained financial consultant Courtney Lomax of Albert B. Melone Company.

“In February the board passed a Preliminary Budget which included a Real Estate tax increase of 5.3%. Now we are asking the board to approve the 15 –16 Final Proposed Budget which includes a tax increase of 2.4%. Also, this does not set anything. The tax rate is set in June.”

Lomax stated that updates in state and federal funding have been received now, allowing for the final figures to be presented and available for review for a minimum of 20 days as required.

“The total budget proposed for 15-16 has a Revenue total of $35,052,130. Operating expenditures, not including the contingency, is $35,340,365; total expenditures budgeted at $35,740,365… The governor proposed an increase of 5% in Basic Education and Special Education from 14-15 –we have not budgeted that. We have budgeted a proposed 2% increase to be conservative. We don’t know at this point what will happen with that.”

Under expenditures Lomax advised, the board decided to use a Bond issue to finance some capital projects, “We closed on a bond issue today of $6 million. That was actually a budget savings for the district. The debt service went up, but the transfer out was less.”

Expenditures show an increase in the cost of health care –up about 19% after 2 years of relative stability. Also, Lomax reported, retirement costs are assumed at $621,459, “The retirement rate went from 21.4% of salaries to 25.84% of salaries next year.” She added that the calculations assume 8 teacher retirees or replacements during the budget year.

In summary, she noted that local income through taxes will increase to 9.6347 mills with the increase for an average home to be $40, resulting in a total increase of approximately $382,000 in tax revenue.

Directors Michael Marshall and Maureen McGovern voted no.

The budget will be on display as of Tuesday in the business office and on the district website. The Final Budget will be voted on at the June 25th meeting.