The Alliance School Board approved the 2019-2020 budget, which increased from the previous year’s $23,162,512 to $24,214,318. Despite the increase, the proposed tax rate decreased as the school relies on some of its reserves to help it throughout the year.
Superintendent Dr. Troy Unzicker said the numbers for the 2018-2019 fiscal year have not been finalized yet. However, estimates show the school district spent roughly $19.2 million, compared to the previous fiscal year in which the district spent $17.3 million. He explained the increase was due to projects undertaken by the district, including the Grandview HVAC project. He noted that the general fund reserves have actually risen.
In the 2019-2020 budgeted disbursements and transferred, Unzicker said he was required to show the district would spend every dollar it is eligible for, which is why it was set at $26.1 million.
“That $26.1 million is nowhere near what we intend to spend,” said Unzicker. “It takes into account every possible money I could have, because, if I don’t count a revenue in, and we do get it, I’m not allowed to spend it.”
Unzicker said that in the past year, the district has seen a 1% increase in property valuations from $1,074,125,630 to $1,088,292,367. He anticipates values to stay the same or to decrease in the future.
In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the district requested a total of $11,835,858.47 in property taxes, which set the tax rate at 1.101906.
Unzicker explained that the general fund operating budget increased by roughly $700,000, but the tax rate was reduced.
“With the reserve we’ve built up, I’ve lowered the tax rate in the general fund,” said Unzicker. “I want to be clear that I only intend to do that for one year. We’ve got a nice reserve built. We’ve spent most of the money out of our depreciation and building. So, I’m using the opportunity this year with our tax rate and our ample reserve.”
The overall property tax request for the district for the 2019-2020 fiscal year totals $11,989,899.00, with the proposed tax rate at 1.101717.
“It’s a very small increase in tax request,” said Unzicker. “It doesn’t even show up as a percent. On the tax rate, it’s a very slight decrease. I think it’s a very responsible budget for the work that we still need to do with the facilities.”