Budget is preliminary until vote on tax rate

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

After two budget workshops in the last week, the Alice Independent School District is still showing a $1,022,572 deficit on its proposed budget for the 2007-2008 school year.

The district's proposed general fund has an estimated expenditure of $38,224,786, which is more than the estimated revenue of $37,202,214.

Last year, the district was also over budget by $1.2 million, and had to dip into the fund balance.

The estimated fund balance, according to numbers provided by Assistant Superintendent of Finance Dr. Melonae Day, will be $7,600,000 as of Sept. 1.

Minus the projected deficit of $1,022,572, the estimated ending fund balance will be $6,577,428.

Day reminded board members the budget numbers so far are preliminary until the board has an opportunity to approve the tax rate and the budget.

A public hearing on the proposed AISD budget and tax rate will take place at 6:30 p.m. today in the AISD Board Room.

During the last two budget workshops, board members trimmed $266,217 from the proposed budget to bring the deficit down to its current amount. Several of the potential cuts under consideration included $4,000 to paint the old gym at Alice High School, $5,000 to repair and refinish the stage at Dubose Intermediate School, $10,000 to repair the baseball and softball canopies and $25,000 for fencing around the grounds at Salazar Elementary.

The proposed tax rate is $1.1986, which is a three-cent increase over the effective tax rate of $1.1671, the rate necessary to collect the same amount of tax revenue as last year. Last year's rate was set at $1.5151.

Some area school districts are also working to develop a balanced budget. Premont ISD currently faces a proposed budget deficit of more than $2 million.