CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield school board reviewed its tentative 2020-21 budget during a virtual workshop meeting on Monday night.
The district’s financial plan calls for $39,047,915 in total revenues and $42,843,426 in total expenditures, resulting in a $3,795,511 deficit.
Despite the projected upcoming-year deficit, both Superintendent Terry Struble and Business Administrator Sam Maney recommended no tax increase.
Maney said that he’s currently projecting a small deficit of $62,075 for the current year, which he believes could possibly turn out to be lower or even flat.
Additionally, he said the district’s fund balance is projected to be $14,005,257 on June 30, and if the projected deficit is realized, it would drop to $10,209,746 at the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
“We can’t recommend a tax increase,” Maney said. “I don’t feel comfortable with doing that to our taxpayers when we have a [healthy] fund balance.”
Board member Tim Morgan said the board is in a position to have a no-tax-increase budget in 2020-21 because it’s made the difficult decisions to raise taxes in recent years.
The board approved a 3.16-mill tax increase in the 2018-19 budget and a 3-mill tax increase in the 2019-20 budget, according to previously-published GANT News reports.
Maney’s proposal also calls for an actual decrease of $96,031 in budgeted expenses. “I really tightened it up trying to give you as close of a picture as I can.
“This is a little out of my comfort zone, and not normally the way I work. I still think it’s important to see where we’re at now, and yes I still think it can get better.”
Struble also reminded that the district expects to receive $671,687 in federal funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
“Yes, that $3.8 million [deficit] looks high,” he said, “but there’s another potentially $670,000 sitting out there that could be used in 2020-21 to help bring that into balance, as well.”
The board will vote on the tentative budget during its regular meeting Monday, May 18. It will then go on public display and be finalized in June.