As the Massapequa School district heads into budget season, a top school official says the district may face a shortfall of at least $3.5 million.
At a budget presentation at last weeks Board of Education meeting, Deputy Superintendent Alan Adcock outlined the challenges the district faces as they shape a new spending plan.
With the state going into the second year of the tax cap law, Adcock spoke ofthe steps the district is required to take in calculating the tax levy which was at about $148 million for the current year's budget.
The tax cap law requires that an increase in the levy be at 2 percent or the cost of an increase in the consumer price index, whichever is smallest. But there are some other exceptions which will make the actual allowable levy at 3.38 percent.
"Were estimating that when you go through the tax cap calculation, that the new tax levy for Massapequa schools will be approximately $153 million," Adcock said.
The number is an estimate, but the deputy Superintendent said he's reasonably certain the levy in the upcoming budget will be in that area.
But while the district is limited to an extra $5 million in tax revenue, they have obligations that are going to cause a budget deficit, according to Adcock.
Districts in New York State have been told to expect a 30 to 40 percent pension increase in pension costs, although the district won't know the exact costs rigght away.
"That pension increase will use up all of the additional tax levy that the school district is able to increase in the 2013-2014 School year," Adcock said.
The district is expecting an increase in health insurance and social security costs along with the loss of Medicare Part D funding and a reduction of fund balance, according to Adcock.
"Just in those areas that I mentioned, that puts us in a deficit area of $3.5 million," he said.
After the meeting Adcock said he is of the opinion that the final number will be closer to the $4 million shortfall the district dealt with a year ago.
the Board of Education will hold the first of three formal budget presentations starting next month.