Schools expect sales taxes to decline in ‘14 budget
The overall budget for fiscal year 2014 forecasts $129,088,687 in revenue and $130,815,388 in expenditures.
Last year’s projected budget for fiscal year 2013 was $126.4 million when first introduced, which grew to $128.2 by the end of the school year.
Anticipated spending increases for fiscal year 2014 include $2.7 million in instructional programs and $91,750 in food services.
St. Charles Parish Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Rodney Lafon said the projected budget is purposefully conservative.
"We are really approaching FY2014 very conservatively to ensure that financial stability of the school district is in place. With current revenue sources we are able to maintain existing programs and that’s extremely important," he said.
The main collections decreases in the 2014 budget are in the Minimum Foundation Program and collection of local sales taxes.
Jim Melohn, chief financial and administrative officer for the district, said sales taxes are returning to normal after being inflated for the past few years.
"We’ve had historically high sales tax collections the past two years. It has been tremendous. That’s due to a lot of expansions going on at the plants," he said.
During expansions, industrial facilities make more purchases.
Due to most of the industrial construction projects wrapping up, sales tax revenues are dropping.
"We’ve seen it for the last two or three months, the monthly (sales tax) collections have gone down significantly. A lot of those expansions have come to an end. Probably for the next couple of years we are going to see a reduction in the amount we are receiving in sales tax," Melohn said.
The decrease in Minimum Foundation Funds was due to budget cuts at the state level.
"With more reductions by the state the burden falls more on us, the local revenue, to keep us increasing our costs," Lafon said.
Lafon encouraged the School Board to closely follow future movement within the state legislature.
"Cuts to the Minimum Foundation Program will reduce revenue by $2 million. I want to say that again, by over $2 million. I wonder sometimes about how the legislation and the legislature deals with that, but anyhow that’s something you guys and lady are going to have to stay on top of," he said.
The biggest change in the projected 2014 budget in comparison to the 2013 budget is an increase in instructional funds, which is seeing a $2.7 million increase from $92.7 million in fiscal year 2013 to $95.4 million in fiscal year 2014.
"Overall the increases are in the instructional areas. That’s important for this board to be able to go out and say in the public that the increases are in the instructional areas," he said.
Of that $2.7 million in instructional spending increases, a portion will go towards one-time bonuses and salary raises for educators.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
A 30-year-old Eastern New Orleans man as been arrested and accused of murdering Des...
With this week’s arrest of a New Orleans East man, Jolene Dufrene may have gotten...
When a couple inquired about getting a same-sex marriage license on Friday, June...
Although St. Charles Parish officials don’t have a figure yet, they’re saying the...
A Luling family is picking up the pieces after a massive fire potentially caused by...
Dennis Mitchell of Luling had been buying tickets for the St. Jude Dream House...
United Way of St.Charles has been working to improve lives in St.Charles Parish since 1955. We are committed to bringing the community together to deliver lasting changes throughout the parish in the ares of education, income & health.
Dressing for success for school - 879 views
With five children to dress for school, Christina Moore of Boutte eagerly picked out uniforms Saturday at St. Charles Parish’s first Back To School Uniform Giveaway.