September was budget month for districts across the state.
The Monticello School Board of Education took time to approve their budget for the upcoming year a few weeks back. Much like schools across Illinois, the district faces a deficit this year. Superintendent of Monticello Schools Dr. Vic Zimmerman says the Monticello budget is not in good shape.
[audio:monticellobudget1.mp3]A Word From Dr. Zimmerman[/audio]
Dr. Zimmerman explains the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax(CPPRT) came about because of some larger businesses in Monticello that were paying a tax that was ruled as unconstitutional, so it was replaced with the CPPRT, and because of the decline in the economy, the amount of revenue generated from that tax is not as great as it has been. According to Dr. Zimmerman, other than last year, the CPPRT dropped $1-million in 2008 and 2009, however, in 2010 it increased by $1-million. He says it usually follows the Illinois economy, but predicting its value can be difficult.
[audio:monticellobudget2.mp3]A Word From Dr. Zimmerman[/audio]
And like most school districts south of Chicago, the transportation funds in the Monticello district are hurting as well. Dr. Zimmerman points out the money the state receives for transportation are reimbursements for money spent last year. He also adds the governor did not modify the state law that requires schools to provide transportation to a certain portion of the district. He says the governor knows schools are hurting right now, and the result is a burden on the tax payer.
[audio:monticellobudget3.mp3]A Word From Dr. Zimmerman[/audio]
Dr. Zimmerman says the district faces over a million and a half dollar deficit, but he says the district does have $8-million their fund balance. He says while the district faces a tough year ahead, he says being conservative and saving money will help the district in the coming years in uncertain times.