Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 28 March 2014 00:00
While most revenues in the current draft of the Mineola School District Budget are pretty much set, New York State is another story, according to District Superintendent Michael Nagler.
“I can tell you the latest saga with state aid...our state government, we don’t know where state aid is going,” Nagler said last week. “We do know the house and senate have proposed increases into state aid. We don’t have any [figures] to see what that means for Mineola specifically.”
The Mineola School District saw a 5.87 percent increase ($5,623,800) in preliminary state aid figures released in January. The state awarded Mineola $5,311,988 in 2013-14.
Mineola gained increases in building aid, but no increase high tax aid.
The district received $290,733 in high tax aid last year. Negotiations are still ongoing, according to district reps. Aid is also tied to the New York State budget, which must be ratified April 1. The budget has been on time for the last three years. Before 2011, the state hadn’t produced an on-time budget in 15 years. Last year’s state budget represented the fifth on-time budget in 30 years.
“The word out of Albany is that [New York] will have a [state] budget by April 1,” Nagler stated. “I’m not quite sure how that’s going to happen or what stars are going to align.”
Nagler indicated that’s the only piece that’s not “pretty much set” before adopting a budget to be put up in May for the public vote.
“That’s really the only piece that’s outstanding for us in terms of the revenue side,” said Nagler. “Other than that, the budget is set and if there’s any adjustments to be made, it will be because of increases in state aid. I don’t see a decrease coming.”
Mineola’s 2014-15 draft budget is $87.5 million, a 1.65 percent increase from the 2013-14 budget, which was $86.1 million when it was certified last May. The budget also includes a 1.46 percent increase in the tax levy, the maximum allowed by the state. The 2014-15 levy sits at $79 million.