Finance and Operations
2013-2014 Budget Information
Preliminary Budget Report
At the Feb. 26 meeting of the Long Beach Board of Education, Chief Operating Officer Michael DeVito delivered a preliminary budget presentation in which he outlined the district’s tax levy calculations for next year and presented the Board with the preliminary parameters for developing a budget that carries a 0% increase in the operating budget.
Mr. DeVito began by guiding the Board and audience through the complex formula that computes tax base growth factors, PILOT payments, tax exclusions, available carryovers and exclusions to arrive at the district’s maximum allowable tax cap under law. This year’s allowable tax levy cap for the Long Beach School District is 5.52%.
Mr. DeVito then explained that, taking into consideration the hardships caused by Superstorm Sandy, the district had opted to increase the preliminary budget by 0.99%, the value of increase in the district’s mandated debt service. As a result, the budget presented for Board consideration keeps operations spending flat for the third year in a row.
The budget must include an increase of approximately $5 million to meet mandatory expenses for state retirement contributions, teacher retirement, hospital, medical and dental coverage, as well as serial bond payments. One of the greatest expense increases is in the district’s required contribution to the teacher retirement system – a 44% increase in growth that results in a mandatory $9 million expenditure – a number that is tied to investment performance and must be funded by law.
“The Board has asked us to deliver to them a scenario for a 0% increase in operating expenditures as a starting point for the budget development process,” said Superintendent of Schools David Weiss. “There is still much work to be done. We are mindful of our taxpayers in the aftermath of the storm and the financial burden that this has placed on us all. This year, even more than in years past, it’s imperative that we exercise fiscal restraint and efficiency without losing sight of our fine educational and co-curricular programs – programs that we all want to continue to flourish.”