2017-08-16 / Front Page

Roxbury taxpayers get unexpected reprieve

Budget adjustments reduce increase in district’s tax levy
By Joan Lawrence-Bauer

The Roxbury Central School Board of Education got some good news at its meeting on August 8. According to the budget committee and Treasurer Wendy Sprague, a unique set of circumstances had resulted in a surplus at the end of school year 2016-17 that was larger than expected.

This allowed the board of education to reduce the increase in the tax levy for school year 2017-18 to zero percent.

Board President Ed Fersch explained, “There was a significant increase in unexpected revenue last year. Along with that, some expenses were considerably less than had been projected. We always expect a small surplus each year. We retain some as fund balance in case of any unanticipated expenses.

Some is placed in reserve accounts so we are prepared for long-term financial obligations. The remainder is applied to the next year’s budget and serves to reduce the tax levy. This year the year-end surplus was much larger than usual.”

Fersch told the News that the unanticipated revenues came from increases in reimbursements to the district from other agencies for services provided to students. He also noted that savings had occurred with reductions in levels of services the school had been providing.

After getting the budget committee report, the board voted to apply almost $500,000 to the 2017-18 budget. The result is that there will be no increase in the tax levy when school tax bills go out next month.

Fersch continued, “We were fortunate this year. We had a large surplus from last year’s budget and are able to use it to maintain our present tax rate.”

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