Guest Contribution by Arthur Green
We’ve noted before that a small increase in the expenditure budget leads to a disproportionate tax impact.
Going into Deliberative, we had a proposed budget increase of 0.5% – yes, one half of one percent. But the documents published by the administration at deliberative show an overall school tax increase of 2.3%, with some significant differences by town:
- Atkinson – 2%
- Danville – 3.9%
- Plaistow – 2.6%
- Sandown – 1.3%
These were “optimistic” numbers, which depend on the district delivering on the $1.9 million surplus stated in the revenue budget.
But we know that the district is planning to spend at least part of that surplus:
- Transformer replacement at the middle school – $300,000 to $500,000
- Sandown North sprinkler system – $260,000
- Warrant Article 3 – capital reserve contribution if passed will be funded out of the surplus – $250,000
Lower surplus means more must be collected from taxes.
At deliberative, the budget was increased by $250,000. At the election in March, the voters will likely approve Warrant Article 6 for the Timberlane Support Staff collective agreement – $97,783.
With these changes, the budget will be $68,071,710, up 1.1% from this year. The amount to be gathered in taxes will be up 3.1%.
This is almost the same as the default budget of $68,160,616, which is still higher than the likely budget but by only $90,000.
Here’s my forecast from December of the tax impacts of the (then) proposed budget. The range of impacts for the default budget is a good forecast of what we will likely face in December.