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Bryan ISD approves $4.56 million deficit budget, sets $1.1396 tax rate

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The Bryan school board unanimously approved a deficit budget of $4.56 million and a tax rate of $1.1396 per $100 valuation to support the budget.

The tax rate includes the maintenance and operations rate and the interest and sinking, or debt service, rate. Revenue from each rate can be used only for its specific purpose — either district operations or payment of debt from bonds.

According to a presentation from Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Kevin Beesaw, the debt service rate did not change from last year; however, the general fund rate decreased by almost 9 cents from last year. The approved $1.1396 rate also represents a 21-cent decrease since the 2016-2017 budget year, he said.

The approved budget includes a total expected revenue of $200,438,602 and anticipated expenditures of $205,001,602.

The deficit budget is created by the district’s general fund revenue and expenditures. The district’s debt service and food service budgets, which are part of the overall budget, are both balanced with revenue and expenditures equaling $0.

Beesaw showed the school board members that the district’s general fund revenue is $158,285,000, and the general fund expenditures is $162,848,000, creating the $4,563,000 deficit.

Beesaw said he does not like proposing a deficit budget; however, the budget uses conservative values. He said the district historically has been able to shrink the deficits throughout the year with increased attendance and finding other cost savings.

He said salary increases, higher insurance premiums, general inflation, recruitment and retention, federal funding and the COVID-19 pandemic are all factors in the district’s 2023 fiscal year budget.

Student enrollment and attendance and a 10% reduction in campus and department non-personnel budgets all will be factors in shrinking the deficit throughout the year.

When developing the budget, Beesaw said, nearly everything is based on estimates. The state, he said, sets a maximum tax rate for districts to use without calling for a tax ratification election.

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