|San Jacinto News Times - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Board approves fund balanced budget
COLDSPRING – Coldspring- Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District (CICISD) Board of Trustees adopted the district's 2013- 2014 budget and set a tax rate to fund it Monday night. During a public hearing to receive public comment on the proposed budget, COCISD Business Manager Adam Jenke highlighted the deficit budget assuring the public of the district's "healthy fund balance" which will help make up the difference between revenues and appropriations with enough left over to keep the district in good financial standing. While there is $13.9 million in total revenues in the general fund, there are appropriations (spending) totaling $14.6 million, leaving a deficit of $671,543. Also showing deficit spending is the district's food service fund. Total revenues in food service fund amount to $982,700 while spending totals $1.04 million, leaving a deficit in that fund of $62,300. Jenke attributed the rise in food prices for the overall deficit in the food service fund. Last year the district allocated $540,950 for supplies and equipment (food) compared to $549,340 budgeted this year. Last year the district's food service fund had deficit spending totaling $104,000. Of the district's total food service revenues of $982,700, about $655,000 are federal revenue sources, with local revenues totaling $295,700. The district's debt service fund also falls short with $613 in deficit spending. Total revenues in the district's debt service amount to $537,400 while total spending amounts to $538,013. "This begins the sixth year we are capped," Jenke said, referring to the property tax ceiling imposed by the Texas Legislature. The district will once again fund its budget with a $1.095 property tax rate per $100 property valuation. Of that total $1.04 is for maintenance and operations and $0.055 is to pay bonded indebtedness. The total appraised value of all property in San Jacinto County dropped from 1.2 billion last year to $1.1 billion this year for a loss of $20.3 million in appraised value. The total taxable value of all property also declined from $1.019 billion to $1.006 billion, a loss of $12.8 million in taxable value. Last year the average market value of a residence in the district totaled $116,739 compared to $118,645 this year with taxes due on the average residence last year totaling $1,070 compared to $1,103 this year for an increase of $32 in taxes. The district has an estimated maintenance and operations fund balance of $2.7 million plus a $285,000 interest and sinking fund balance. During Monday night's regular meeting, board members voted to commit $1 million of its fund balance to the district's remodeling and infrastructure fund and $500,000 to instructional enhancement. Among the instructional enhancements is an increase of $25 per month as the district's contribution to employee insurance for any employee enrolled in TRS-ActiveCare, a statewide member group health benefits program. With the board's approval, the total TRS ActiveCare contribution for employees by the district went from $250 per month to $275 per month. Giving a report of the first day of school, principals said, "We got off to a great start and smooth school year." A total of 357 students were reported at Street Elementary School; 298 at Coldspring Intermediate School; and 483 at Coldspring/Oakhurst High School. The number of students at Lincoln Junior High School for the first day of school was not announced.