The Norman Transcript

Headlines

March 26, 2013

Tax cuts could spell big deficit for Norman schools

NORMAN — Tax-cutting legislation and sequestration could spell a deficit of up to $2.7 million in Norman Public Schools’ 2014 budget, according to a presentation at Monday evening’s school board meeting.

NPS Chief Financial Officer Brenda Burkett presented her projections for Fiscal Year 2014, factoring in expected losses in tax revenue since the passage of SQ 766 in November and an anticipated reduction of 5 percent in the statewide budget from federal spending cuts.

From sequestration alone, Burkett projected NPS to see a loss of $374,808 from its current federal budget of $7.4 million.

“Cabinets have met and we’ve gone through each of our programs, evaluated what we’re spending, and we’re evaluating what will be getting the reduction, what will carry over to next year. That’s what we’re working through now,” Burkett said.

Superintendent Joe Siano cautioned against dismissing the reduction as comparatively minor.

“There’s a tendency for this discussion to be compartmentalized. Three hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars on top of a reduction of $4.5 million with 1,500 more students in four years is significant,” Siano said. “Additionally, our federal funds are targeted at our most needy students.

“When you consider how specifically targeted these funds are and how strictly mandated their spending is, there are many issues affected. We’re becoming more and more limited in our options ... there are no more places to move.”

As with other difficult budget reductions, Siano said the next step will be to reprioritize program budgets, but between the district’s general fund and federal funds, flexibility is rapidly shrinking.

Burkett’s projected sequestration losses were dramatically compounded by anticipated loss in local revenue with the passage of SQ 766, exempting all intangible personal property — such as patents, trademarked software or mineral interests — from ad valorem taxation.

“With these two state questions hindering growth in local tax revenue (through exemptions), the amount the state has to distribute will go down. This is a huge reduction in local wealth, so the state will have to come up with replacement funds,” Burkett said. “There will be corporations reporting a much smaller valuation, taking advantage of intangible claims, and they’ll be paying a lot less property tax, hence the reductions in our state aid.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Information scarce on ‘dark money’ group in Oklahoma superintendent campaign

    An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission....

    July 24, 2014

  • Medical examiner says inmate died of an accidental drug overdose

    The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a woman found dead in the Cleveland County jail Feb. 23 died of a drug overdose....

    July 24, 2014

  • Ride CART fare free on Ozone Alert Day

    Environmental officials have declared today as an Ozone Alert Day. Passengers ride fare free on Cleveland Area Rapid Transit on Ozone Alert Days....

    July 24, 2014

  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Arizona inmate dies two hours after execution begins

    PHOENIX — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S....

    July 24, 2014

  • Man injured in motorcycle wreck ID’d

    Norman police identified a man transported to Norman Regional Hospital’s emergency room after a two-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle and a car Wednesday....

    July 24, 2014

  • Wine, Organ and Compline at St. Thomas More

    St. Thomas More University Parish, 100 Stinson St., is hosting the Wine, Organ and Compline at 7 p.m. today. The series will begin with a wine and cheese gathering in the atrium, followed by an organ recital presented by guest organist ...

    July 24, 2014

  • 48 dead after Taiwan plane crash

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying to the small Taiwanese island today where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48. There were 10 survivors, and authorities were ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following persons were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Kenneth Leo Turk, 64, aggravated count of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol · Kelly Revonn Turner, 21, ...

    July 24, 2014