FY 2012 Tax proposalQuestion – Last year, as the school board considered raising the property taxes in order to fill the deficit in federal money, I supported the tax increase knowing the schools would benefit and therefore the whole community would also benefit. However, I am left with a question of how this increase will impact us on the school level. We are seeing cut backs on every side. Just this past week, our support staff hours were cut dramatically. This trend is disturbing to me. When will the tax increase impact the schools? Or will it even impact us on the school level? And are we to have the benefit of the extra revenue during this school year at all or will we not see any benefit until next year?
Response – We have attached a few slides from the tax hearing (last year) that might be helpful in responding this question.
Here is a little info on the tax increase:
· Granite had shortfalls of $28 million in FY 10, $17 million in FY 2011 and $12 million in FY 12
· Total shortfalls over the 3 years – $57 million
· Cuts were made for the full amount of the shortfalls in FY 10 and FY 11
· The Board made cuts of $7 million in FY 12 and chose to increase tax revenues by $5 million to close the budget gap
· Taxes were increased to “maintain class size & services to schools”
· Without the increased tax revenues, schools would most likely have seen increases in class sizes and cuts to services in FY 12
· There was one significant enhancement in the FY 12 budget that all elementary school teachers should be benefitting from – PE specialists have been assigned to every elementary school
As far as what you are referring to when you say that you are seeing, “cut backs on every side” or “support staff hours were cut dramatically.” Based on our review of your specific schools budgets for hourly paraprofessionals, your school has an additional allocation from Education Equity which has all been spent. It may be that they had to cut hours through the end of the year to stay within their budget. Schools have different funds that they use for support staff – Educational Equity, Special Ed, Trust Lands, etc. The principal has to manage those budgets throughout the year. If they spend their budget before the end of the school year, they might have to cut back on the hours that they use.
Thanks to our budget director for his assistance in responding to this question.