Pattonville's 2012-2013 Budget Includes Challenges
Salary schedules for staff members continue normal step movements, but casino decisions hit the district hard.
Pattonville Chief Financial Officer Ron Orr presented a proposed budget for the 2012-2013 school year to the Pattonville School Board on June 12. The new school year will see Pattonville with fewer full time staff members, $130,000 loss in state funding and administrators working with a $2.4 million operating deficit.
However the deficit won’t hurt salary schedules, according to the presentation. Orr told the board that the district will continue normal salary step movements for employees, and retain a one percent increase for employees at the top of the salary schedules.
Salaries and benefits have the biggest impact on Pattonville’s budget, totaling $66.8 million for the upcoming school year. Sixty-point-nine percent of that total is for certified staff, while support staff salaries and benefits make up 30.8 percent. Administrative staff members will compose 8.3 percent of total salaries.
The 2012-2013 budget predicts a decrease in capital spending by 30.04 percent (about $278,242). One reason for the spending decline is district officials don’t expect to buy any new school busses.
Pattonville’s school bus’ average age is a little more than six years old, according to the presentation. During the last academic year, Pattonville’s administration bought two new school busses. Previously Pattonville bought six new busses in 2009, and 15 in 2008.
The district has a total 66 busses in its fleet, the presentation indicated.
Orr explained to the board that the school district could see some financial challenges in future years, such as a decline in cash on hand to begin a school year. The proposed budget predicts that percent will drop from 27.29 percent in the 2012-2013 to 14.73 percent in the 2015-2016 school year.
Orr said district officials usually want that number in the mid-twenties range.
Harrah’s Casino is also having an affect on Pattonville’s upcoming budget. Orr told the school board that Pattonville lost $100,000 in surcharge after Harrah’s had a tax reclassification. Since the casino is technically on a barge rather than land, the state tax commission has insisted the casino be classified as personal property rather than real estate.
Harrah’s value has also affected the budget. The County Assessor’s office priced Harrah’s at $531 million, however the St. Louis County Board of Equalization valued the casino $243 million.
The casino sold earlier this year for $610 million.
That Board of Equalization decision cost Pattonville $3.5 million in revenue, however the school district has no legal standing to file suit on the issue.