The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District’s tentative 2012-13 budget calls for a 1.72 percent increase in spending, $641,000 more than last year.
If the early draft of the $38 million budget is approved, taxpayers would see their tax rate increase by about 2.19 percent.
The first preliminary hearing on the budget will be held tonight in the Mattituck Jr./Sr. High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. A second hearing is scheduled for March 22.
The district plans to appropriate $1.14 million from its fund balance next year, down from $1.24 million appropriated last year.
Superintendent James McKenna has reminded board members nearly every month that drawing on the fund balance is a temporary solution to the school’s financial problems.
“We’ve been drawing down the bank account over several years,” he said at a work session Feb. 29.
Many of the increased costs in the tentative budget are due to contractual pay increases and benefits.
Contractual teacher salary increases will add more than $250,000 to the budget over last year, while employee benefits will increase by nearly $418,000, more than half of which is due to teacher retirement cost increases as more teachers retire. The current teacher’s contract will expire at the end of the 2014 school year. Medical and dental insurance for teachers is expected to cost an additional $155,000 next year, according to the tentative budget.
The district plans to cut some corners, spending just $77,000 on technology next year, down from nearly $142,000 in 2011-12.
The district also plans to spend $189,000 less in BOCES services. The district also expects to save $62,622 over last year’s budget thanks to the elimination of the MTA payroll tax.
The budget that will be put before voters is expected to be finalized in mid-April.