With calculations from Arthur Green
Timberlane School District residents will be asked to pay 8.9% more in taxes this November. As usual, Sandown and Danville will be slammed hardest.
Also as usual, the news was disguised. The administration reported at the June 1 school board meeting that the surplus projected at the end of June will be $1.377 million, which is about half a million less than the forecast used in preparing the 2017/18 budget.
Here’s the estimated tax increase taking into account the voted 17/18 budget, the voted school warrant articles and the reduced budgeted surplus:
- Timberlane overall: 8.9% increase
- Atkinson: 6.3%
- Danville: 10.2%
- Plaistow: 8.9%
- Sandown: 11.2%
At some future meeting, the school board could decide to put $200,000, which is currently in a surplus retention fund, towards this revenue shortfall. They probably will, but the effect will be hardly noticeable.
Welcome to the land of educational funding where money is no object and having both hands in the taxpayers’ pocket passes for management.
Four months ago at School Deliberative, the district presented the tax impact of the proposed 2017/18 budget – a 7.5% district-wide average increase in the education portion of the property tax. This information was on a paper handout which was not posted to the district website (and is still not posted on the website). TRSD does not find it convenient to make this information available to taxpayers in advance of the Deliberative, although all the information is in hand months prior. Arthur Green did his best to make up for this lack of transparency with this blog post (and others), where he correctly forecast the proposed budget tax impact that was finally made public at Deliberative.
Since the deliberative meeting, two things have changed to make the tax impact even more serious:
- In March, voters approved the warrant article for the support workers contract, adding $181,000 to the appropriation.
- Last Thursday, the administration gave the school board a report of the year-end financial position, projecting a surplus of just $1,377,000. This represents a shortfall from their budgeted projections of more than half a million dollars.
Let us hope the new school board can bring some fiscal common sense to the district going forward.