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2014 budget for WL schools similar to current year's

The West Lafayette Community School Corporation is preparing its budget for next year.

Board members heard from the administration about the outlook for revenue and expenditures, and challenges facing the district.

The so-called circuit breaker could cost West Lafayette schools about $600,000 next year. Business manager Ross Sloat says that’s similar to this year’s impact of the property tax caps, which were first introduced in 2009.

The corporation expects the tax rate to be slightly higher than this year’s – likely going from $1.24 to $1.27 per $100 of assessed valuation (AV). However, Sloat says nothing is set.

“Well, the AV is unknown and the circuit breaker impact is always kind of an issue, so those are unknowns,” he says. “Even though we’ve advertised that (tax) rate and the levy has been approved, that doesn’t mean you’re going to collect it, but you had to budget based on you might collect it.”

After two years without any increase in health insurance premiums, Sloat says they’re looking at a 10% hike next year.

Administrators say tuition support from the state is expected to drop to $5,309 per student in the West Lafayette district.

Sloat says the additional referendum tax rate likely will stay at $0.37 next year.

“We’re committed to keep it $0.37,” he says. “That’s really saved the district. It’s helped us to maintain programs – arts, music, and athletics. Without it, you’d see significant cuts.”

Sloat is projecting the referendum tax will bring in about $4.2 million next year. That special collection is set to expire after the 2017 budget year. The school district can bring another referendum to voters to continue the additional property tax.

A public hearing on the West Lafayette schools budget is September 11th with final passage scheduled for October 9th.

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