Third Vote Aug. 5
by Todd Wellington
Taxpayers will be asked in the third school budget vote of the year to raise less money through taxes than in the two previous budget votes. The only question now is how much less.
The school board voted last night to apply $460,000 in state and federal education funds toward paying for the proposed 1997-98 school budget.
The figure includes state and federal special education funding as well as $386,192 in general state aid. The state aid figure is significant because it is $51,654 more than previously expected. Applied to the budget, that's $51,654 that will not have to be raised through local property taxes.
Additionaly, there is a very real possibility that another $16,000 will be sliced from the expenditure side of the budget. While stressing that the figures have not yet been audited, Caledonia North Supervisory Union operations officer Joan Wood, at last night's meeting, handed out the end-ofyear Burke School District expenditure report. The report shows that a $16,000 budget shortfall projected to be carried forward from last year had been completely absorbed.
Budget management and the transfer of money sitting in escrow from the sale of district school buses are being credited for erasing the debt.
If the report comes through an audit unchanged, the savings to taxpayers could be significant. The proposed budget recently defeated by a single vote called for $1,416,151 in revenue to be raised by taxes. At best, the additional state and federal aid combined, and the possible savings on back debt, could reduce by $67,654 the amount needed to be raised by taxes, for a revised total of $1,348,497.
The third vote on the school budget will be by Australian ballot on Aug. 5, with the informational meeting being held on July 31 at 7 p.m. in the town hall.
After last night's meeting, school board Chairman Ron Aiken had just one request of his fellow taxpayers: "Get registered and get out and vote!"