The Bloomfield School District budget will end the year in the black, but a lower than usual surplus may end up having an impact on next year’s tax levy.
The district’s year-end audit found an approximate $500,000 surplus from the 2011-12 school year. While ending the year with a surplus is always welcomed, Business Administrator Michael Derderian said it was below average.
“It’s not a lot,” said Derderian, referring to the year-end total.
In 2011, the district pulled in about $1.4 million in surplus. Derderian said the district has typically generated a surplus in excess of $1 million in previous years.
The lower surplus is due to unanticipated costs — including increased class sizes which called for hiring more teachers — and applying much of previous surpluses to the tax levy.
“For the past two years, the board has appropriated as much of the surplus as possible to keep the taxes down,” said Derderian.
Looking ahead, Derderian did not predict the surplus would increase.
“I don’t expect to generate a material amount of surplus by the year’s end,” said Derderian.
The lower surplus also affects the district’s state mandates, which require a school district to maintain an emergency fund equal to 2 percent of its budget, or about $1.7 million.
The smaller surplus also means less money can be given back to residents in the tax levy.
“It’s going to be a serious problem because we’re not going to have any surplus to offset taxes in the upcoming school election cycle,” said Derderian. “We are certainly going to have less money to offset taxes than we’ve had in the past few years.”