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Revenues, expenses up for Gainesville City Schools
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Revenues are up, and so are expected expenditures for Gainesville City Schools in 2015.

Anticipated revenue for 2015, including state and federal funds, is at $58.5 million. Chief Financial Officer Janet Allison has set general fund expenditures for $62 million, a $3.5 million difference.

And it’s a difference from this year. Expenditures for the 2014 fiscal year are at $59.1 million, as of March 31.

The increase stems from different factors, including the expansion of the school calendar to a full 190-day contract for teachers, and 180 instructional days for students.

Allison also said the employer contribution for teacher retirement accounts went up by almost a full percentage point.

“We’ve also calculated so many positions in that number,” Allison said about the $62 million, referring to new positions within the system. “Frankly, I believe it’s a little high, but I would rather be a little high right now on a preliminary basis than being low and come in at a higher rate in two weeks.”

Right now, the overdraft will come from the system’s fund balance. Allison projects it will be at $8 million at the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year.

“We are still cutting into the fund balance,” she said. “We can’t continue that without possibly running into trouble.”

Also, all projections are now set at the city system’s millage rate of 7.59. Gainesville has kept that rate for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years.

Allison has calculated for every tenth of a mill drop, the system would lose around $303,000 in revenue. For example, at the 7.59 rate the school system anticipates $23 million in income at a 95.9 percent collection rate.

At a 7.34 rate, that would drop to $22.3 million; and it would go to $21.5 million at a 7.09 millage rate.

One mill equals $1 per $1,000 in assessed property value. Property is assessed at 100 percent in Gainesville.

No discussion has taken place about lowering the millage rate, though board member Sammy Smith had previously requested a look at what revenues would look like at the 7.34 and 7.09 rates.

Allison plans to give a more detailed budget presentation at the May 19 Board of Education meeting. Board members may vote on tentative adoption at the June 2 work session, with final approval now scheduled for the June 16 meeting.

All Gainesville Board of Education work sessions and meetings, unless otherwise noted, are held 6 p.m. in the main office at 508 Oak St., Gainesville.