Spending below budget in Minooka Grade School District
By Kris Stadalsky For The Herald-News April 30, 2012 8:42AM
Updated: June 14, 2012 8:03AM
MINOOKA — With the majority of the school year complete, Minooka Grade School District still has a substantial amount of its budget left.
By this point in the school year, the district has typically spent about 80 percent of its budget. Even with just 55 percent of the year’s revenue received so far, most funds are under budget.
Transportation, for instance, has only used 75 percent of its budget; operating and maintenance 65 percent; and the education fund, the largest fund, has used only 63 percent.
“We are really in good shape,” Superintendent Al Gegenheimer said. “We are 10 to 15 percent under budget.”
Even so, financial concerns still linger, Gegenheimer said.
Gegenheimer received an update regarding the district’s IMRF contribution, which has been increased by 0.5 percent.
“It’s low, but it’s an automatic increase on our costs,” he said.
When preparing the budget, Gegenheimer typically overestimates expenditures and underestimates revenue to keep from overspending during the year, he has said in the past.
But the current budget may be about $2 million short on the revenue side.
Part of that can be attributed to a 10 percent drop in the village’s equalized assessed valuation.
“The June 1 portion of the property taxes anticipated will be at least $1 million shy of what we budgeted due to the loss of $85 million in EAV,” Gegenheimer said.
Additionally, the state of Illinois is behind in its payments and still owes the district $2.5 million. The money has been allocated but the state has until Dec. 31 to pay, which will be in the next fiscal year.
Even though the district could have used an additional $48,000 that Kendall County had previously underpaid, the board reduced its tax levy to balance out the additional income.
The county made an adjustment in the district’s Tort Immunity Fund, which increased the district’s levy amount by 2 percent.
While the money would be welcome, the district made a promise to taxpayers that it would not exceed a tax rate of $2.9643. The 2 percent put the district over the promised amount.
“I about fell off my chair when I got this and they said they owed us $48,000,” Gegenheimer said.
Gegenheimer filed an abatement for the same amount with Kendall County.
“So we lowered our tax rate by 2 percent,” he said.
This is the final of five years in which the district promised not to exceed the levy amount. The promise was made when the district asked taxpayers to approve a bond referendum proposal to build two new schools and renovate two others to keep up with explosive student growth at the time.