Gilford schools to give $824,844 back to taxpayers
GILFORD — The school district has a surplus of more than $800,000 and school officials will return all of it to taxpayers.
“When the Department of Revenue Administration sets the tax rate next month, the school portion of the taxpayer bill will reflect the $824,844 reduction thanks to the fund balance,” said Scott Isabelle, the school's assistant superintendent for business.
The district returned about $600,000 from a similar surplus last year, Isabelle said.
The largest savings this year was in employee health insurance, as the schools were charged a less-than-anticipated rate for the year.
That saved the district $290,000, Isabelle said.
The district also saved $130,000 on oil and electricity because of the warm winter and spring, he said.
Savings of $93,000 came through special education students' transportation costs.
A large savings was seen in salary and retirement accounts for the district's staff, including changes to the state retirement system.
“The New Hampshire Retirement System had told us their rate was going up, so we budgeted for that and froze salaries for support staff and the teachers agreed to give up one day's pay,” Isabelle said. “As it turned out, the rate wasn't as high as they had anticipated,” he said.
Staffing savings totaled $129,000. A portion of that came from employee turnover and lower salaries for replacement staff.
Superintendent Kent Hemingway's salary, for instance, is $12,500 less than his predecessor's, Isabelle said.
The district is the second in recent weeks to announce a surplus.
In late August, Inter-Lakes School officials announced an $841,000 budget surplus, of which $515,000 was returned to taxpayers.
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