NLS school officials approve audit, final levy
NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board approved the audit of the district's finances through June 30, 2011, and certified the final 2012 local tax levy of $4,039,684 at the regular meeting Monday.
The audit, performed by Conway, Deuth and Schmiesing, found that the district had an unassigned general fund balance of $109,123 on June 30 of this year. The fund recovered $355,614 from June 30, 2010, when the district had a negative unassigned general fund balance of $246,491.
Jim Gilman and Darrin Ogdahl, certified public accountants for CDS, presented the audit to the board. Gilman noted that the district should have a goal of a $500,000 to $700,000 balance in the unassigned, or unreserved, general fund.
The audit also revealed that the state tax shift, delaying state funding payments for schools in order to balance the state's budget deficit, will cost the district $915,320 this year. The total amount of dollars shifted by the state since 2007 in the NLS district is $1.4 million.
School districts will either need to use their fund balances or borrow to cover for the shift, Gilman noted. Even though the state has a budget surplus of $876 million, that funding must go to build reserves before schools get repaid.
"I think we will be stuck with this (the shift) for a number of years," Gilman said.
The board also hosted the required truth-in-taxation hearing during the board meeting. No member of the public was in attendance for the presentation by Lisa Raiter from School Management Services, the district's contracted business management service.
The 2011 payable 2012 final levy certified by the district is $4,039,684, a total of $369,110 or a 10.06 percent increase over the 2010 payable 2011 levy. The 2012 levy includes $2,255,650 in the general fund, a $566,292 increase over the 2011 levy of $1,690,359. The increase includes the $500,000 technology levy approved by district voters last month. The $1.5 million technology levy is $500,000 for the next three years.
The district's debt service fund levy is $272,843 less than last year's $1,827,788 levy, a 15 percent decrease. The district will use reserve funds to cover the decreased levy amount.