• 43°

City administrators deal with tax revenue shortfall

The Brookhaven School District has approveda budget of over $27.8 million for the upcoming fiscal year, butactual tax revenue will not cover last year’s expenditures.

    The district voted to declare a shortfall of $275,719.20 for the2010-2011 fiscal year at Tuesday’s board meeting. Susan Quin,business manager for the district, said that ad valorem tax, orproperty tax, collections did not meet the projected total.

    “Our spending was in line,” said Carl Aycock, chairman of the boardof trustees. “We didn’t get everything that we were supposed to inrevenue.”

    Quin said that the reasons collected taxes fell below projectionscould not be completely identified.

    In order to declare a shortfall, a school district must demonstratethat a shortfall in revenue occurred and that the district will beunable to meet financial obligations.

    The district must now file a resolution to declare a shortfall andwill then seek a loan to cover last year’s expenses. The districtwill consider a number of quotes in order to identify the lowestinterest rates possible.

    After the board approves a loan, it will be repaid over athree-year period. The school board will make a debt request to thecity for funds to cover loan repayments. The board of aldermen willdetermine what tax levy is required to meet the school’s debtrequest.

    The district also faced a shortfall in its previous fiscalyear.

    School expenditures will be reduced in the upcoming fiscal yearcompared to 2010-2011 year. The budget approved by the board isalmost $800,000 less than its previous budget.

    A reduction across several revenue streams, particularly statesources of funding, necessitated a budget decrease because thedistrict chose not to request a tax increase to meet thedifference.

    The district presented the 2011-2012 budget at a public hearinglast week. The budget passed by the board contained no changes fromwhat was presented at the hearing.

    The board took Tuesday action on other financial matters andapproved the purchase of two new school buses and the transfer of16th section interest to the maintenance fund.

    The state of Mississippi owns 16th section land but is managed andleased out by local school districts to supplement theirrevenue.

    A total of $569,080 of 16th section interest will be moved. Thatmoney will pay for the new school buses, repairs to the highschool’s track and roof repairs at Lipsey Middle School.

    In non-financial matters, the board voted to adopt anabstinence-only sex education program. It did so in compliance withHouse Bill 999.

    The bill, passed by state legislators during the 2011 session,required all schools to adopt a sex education programs.

    Schools could choose either an “abstinence-only” program or an”abstinence-plus” program. Abstinence-plus programs includeinstruction on various means of birth control.