School district prepares for deficit

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District is expected to run deficits the next three years, but the district has enough money set aside that it can spend an estimated $2.56 million more than the revenue it receives.

At the Sept. 10 meeting of the district’s school board, John Bartolome, the district’s business manager, projected the deficits to be $550,157 this fiscal year; $1,076,141 in 2014-15 and $939,531 in 2015-16.

The district can afford the deficits because it has almost $8.3 million in various funds, although $1.3 million is part of a 3 percent reserve that it can’t touch, and another $2.9 million is in deferred maintenance money, which the district would like to see used for maintenance.

“This can carry us through the next three years,” Bartolome said.

He explained that property taxes this past year brought in $530,634 less than projections, but that salary and benefit expenses were $90,000 lower, supplies were $57,000 lower and services were $86,000 lower than anticipated.

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