PORT ALLEN — The West Baton Rouge Parish School Board unanimously adopted its consolidated budget for 2012-13 with little discussion during a special meeting Tuesday.
The new budget, which controls spending from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, projects revenues of $46.4 million and expenses of about $45.8 million, resulting in an estimated $682,000 surplus by the end of the fiscal year.
The school district plans to spend some $1.2 million more this fiscal year than last fiscal year on employee salary and benefits funded with revenue from the district’s 12-mill property tax.
The 12-mill tax, dedicated to supporting school district employee salaries, is expected to generate about $4.4 million in revenue during the 2012-13 fiscal year, officials said.
Business Services Supervisor Jared Gibbs said the $4.2 million in projected spending during 2012-13 will pay for, among other things, hiring about 30 additional teachers and support staff during the current school year.
Gibbs said the new hires were mandated by grant funding the district used to implement several new programs.
Total revenue for the general fund during the 2012-13 fiscal year will be about $29.9 million, according to budget estimates.
The general fund is the district’s primary operating budget unit and is supported primarily by local taxes and state funding.
The board is set to spend nearly $30 million out of its general fund in 2012-13, up by more than $300,000 over last year, according to budget estimates.
School Superintendent David Corona credited the spending increase to anticipated spikes in commercial insurance, utilities and fuel costs, as well as 1 percent step increases for district employees and a $100,000 rate increase in retirement costs.
Corona issued a budget message saying ad valorem taxes are expected to increase “slightly” in the 2012-13 budget year, while sales tax revenue is forecast to decrease by 6 percent.
The district collected nearly $6 million in sales tax revenue in 2011. It expects to receive approximately $5.6 million in 2012.
Gibbs said the school district could see a more than $500,000 increase in tax revenue should the board decide to roll forward the district’s millage rates, which it is allowed to do this year because of parishwide property reassessments conducted by the Assessor’s Office earlier this year.
The School Board plans to hold a public hearing prior to its regular meeting on Sept. 19 to discuss adopting the adjusted millage rates.