High Finance with Hentze
District Budget and Finance Committee Report
Brandon Hentze, Co-Chair
Mr. Mentzer will deliver the annual financial report to the Board of Education this month. The expenses estimates were solidified at the very end of last fiscal year ending in June 2015. The estimated revenue was $59 million at this time with estimated expenses coming in at $57,770,000. When the final budget was approved, expenses were very close, coming in at $57,790,000, only $2,000 in variance with the initial budget estimate. We will be down in local revenue and General State Aid again this year. Mr. Mentzer estimates that there will be a decrease of about $2.8 million in these revenue streams. There was no single cut that caused such a significant drop in revenue, rather it was cuts across the board in numerous different state funds such as transportation that added up. In addition, the local revenue estimates will be calculated in the next few weeks, but these are expected to be lower than last year as well. The district went conservative on budgeting to try to accommodate for loss of revenue. Traditionally, the district only budgets on the State of Illinois paying three of the four mandatory General State Aid payments since the state rarely makes the last quarter payment.
Currently the district is keeping an eye on SB318 which would freeze tax levies across the state. The bill will cap and freeze the tax levy at the current dollar amount (NOT the current percentage) so that if there is increase in future local revenue from taxation, the district will not be able to access these funds. Since the district has been very conservative in its tax levy, this means that it would take a referendum of the voters to change the levy percentage before the law goes into effect. Both the Building and Operating Funds must have voter approval to change the levy percentage. This bill comes from the fact that 80% of the state population (specifically the Chicago area) are already tax capped at high amounts from the past and will never be lowering their rates, thus giving them a high-water mark for revenue. The district does like the fact that SB318 does allow transfer between operating funds, a practice which is currently not allowed by law.
If there are questions or discrepancies with payroll after the September 15th run, please contact Brian Mentzer DIRECTLY at email@example.com . The district knows that this process may not be perfect on the first run with all the salary changes recently, so please do not hesitate to ask questions if they occur. Vicki LePere will be doing site visits at the schools after the initial payroll run to show staff their compensation verification forms as she has done in the past. Staff members are also encouraged to contact Nancy Bergman for any Human Resource needs (firstname.lastname@example.org). Nancy replaced Anne House at the District Office and formerly served as the Bookstore Manager at Belleville West. Make Nancy your first point of contact for all Human Resource questions!
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Proud alumnus, union member, and educator in District #201 since 2006.
Dr. Hentze is the author of High Finance with Hentze, a monthly blog that provides news about District 201's current financial state.