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Timberlane Budget Increases Slightly?

February 5, 2013

According to the Timberlane Regional School District Budget Committee, the 2013-2014 budget ‘increases slighly’ due to state cuts and transfer of costs.  Neither claim is true.

The proposed budget is $64,272,418.  $64,272,418 is 1.98% higher than $63,021,817, but $64,272,418 is only part of the budget and $1,250,601 is only part of the increase.

Article IV: In a separate warrant article, the SAU asks voters to approve funding for the new teachers contract.  That warrant includes $398,203 in funding for 2013-2014.  Assuming approval, that is an increase.

Bond Interest: The bond that funded the construction effort that included the Performing Arts Center is paid in two parts.  Each year, we pay an equal installment on the principle plus interest on the bond.  Each year, the interest decreases.  That decrease for 2013-2014 was $84,000.  Spending this on something else is a budget increase.

So, the budget for this year is $64,272,418 + $398,203 + $84,000.  An increase of $1,732,804 or 2.7%.

At the same time, enrollment is down 2%.

Once again, the SAU claims and the School Board accepts that the default budget is HIGHER than the proposed budget.  Here is the definition per RSA..

(b) “Default budget” as used in this subdivision means the amount of the same appropriations as contained in the operating budget authorized for the previous year, reduced and increased, as the case may be, by debt service, contracts, and other obligations previously incurred or mandated by law, and reduced by one-time expenditures contained in the operating budget. For the purposes of this paragraph, one-time expenditures shall be appropriations not likely to recur in the succeeding budget, as determined by the governing body, unless the provisions of RSA 40:14-b are adopted, of the local political subdivision.

You might ask yourself how the default budget can be higher than the proposed budget or the previous year’s budget.  I’ve asked that question privately and publicly.  The answer is that the SAU misrepresents one-time expenditures as ongoing expenditures.  So, for example, the one time expenditure of replacing a roof is carried forward as ‘maintenance’ in the default budget.  This dishonest practice is designed to deprive the community of its statuary right to reject unwarranted budget increases.  The School Board rubber stamps these unlawful default budgets and you should vote against any incumbent if you do not approve an increased budget.

See you at the Deliberative Session!

Timberlane Performing Arts Center
Thursday, February 7, 2012 7:00 PM
Snow Date – February 13, 2012


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