Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

March 12, 2013

Facing $800k deficit, Lew-Port may try to override tax cap

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — But if the current operating budget were rolled over into next year, including all step increases in salary, the district would be looking at a nearly $43 million spending plan.

This isn't what administrators have planned, but more than $2 million in cuts alone would do some serious damage to the programs in the school and would result in several teachers losing their jobs, Roser argued.

How many? He wouldn't say. It's too early in the process with too much left in the air with the state still to adopt its own budget, which determines state aid numbers.

Historically, the tax levy hasn't seen much of a jump in the last 10 years until the budget passed last May. In spite of the 3.51 percent increase voters approved then, its only jumped at a 1.07 percent rate averaged over the past decade. The general fund budget similarly only averaged a 1.72 percent rise over the same time frame, going up a total of $5.4 million.

Conversely, state aid to the district, the only other major source of income available to the district aside from local tax, has seen a 1.37 percent increase in the decade. But the increase is deceiving as it has actually been decreasing at a massive rate for the last three years and will do so for a fourth starting in June.

Aid has fallen to $12.6 million projected in 13-14, down from its recent high of $15.4 million in 2009-10.

The district's school board will hold its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the district's board meeting room, 4061 Creek Road, Porter.

Mug of Roser, Christopher Christopher Roser Taxing issues

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