Thanks in large part to more than one million dollars in back taxes being collected, the 2012 fiscal year budget for the Thomaston-Upson School System came close to breaking even, with expenditures for the year totaling just $77,000 more than revenue. Without that additional revenue and cost savings in numerous departments, the school system had anticipated having to take up to $2 million out of its General Fund to cover the difference between expenses and revenues.
Finance Director Kathy Matthews updated the Board of Education at their October meeting on the end of the fiscal year budget. The amounts reported are unaudited, and Matthews said the system’s annual audit hasn’t been scheduled yet. She stated that when the audit is completed, she will come back before the board with the final audit results for the fiscal year 2012 budget.
“We ended Fiscal Year 2012 at $31.4 million, which was five percent above budget,” stated Matthews. “The majority of the revenue increase came from the ad valorem tax line. Revenue wise, we collected a million dollars more than we had budgeted, which the majority of that was from back taxes. Other categories that we had increases in were the indirect cost revenue of $24,000, miscellaneous revenue of $315,000, and the NJROTC grant revenue of $20,000.
“Expenses for the year were $31.5 million, which was one percent below budget. Expense savings were realized in the following categories: Instruction - $688,000; Pupil Services - $53,000; Professional Development - $18,000; Media - $13,000; General Administration - $106,000; School Administration - $174,000; Business Support Services - $1,000; Central Support Services - $14,000; Operating Transfers - $35,000.
“There were two areas where we had expenses above our budget,” she added. “That was in Maintenance at $72,000 and Transportation was above budget $268,000.”
Matthews stated that for the year, expenses were above revenue by $77,000. The difference was made up by the General Fund, which she said ended the year at $6,190,709.24, an increase of $65,000 over the previous year balance of $6,125,628.23. If expenses had been even with revenue, the General Fund would have increased $142,000.
In the SPLOST II account (collections for SPLOST II ended in 2010), revenues for the year, all from interest earned on the account, totaled $1,550. SPLOST II expenditures were $985,000, with the majority of that being for work at the bus shop and technology purchases. At year end, there was $23,500 in accounts payable, which were included in the $985,000 in expenditures. There is $719,000 remaining to be spent in SPLOST II.
In the SPLOST III account (collections for SPLOST III began in 2011) – revenues for the year totaled $3.1 million, and expenses were $2.4 million. At year end the school system had $346,000 in construction contracts payable on the Performing Arts Center. That payable amount is also included in the $2.4 million in expenditures.