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Votes

MCC Prepares FY2015 Budget

Draft budget would increase tax rate to 2.3 cents per $100 of assessed real estate value.

A breakdown of the draft McLean Community Center budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which will be decided on by the governing board Wednesday, Sept. 25.

A breakdown of the draft McLean Community Center budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which will be decided on by the governing board Wednesday, Sept. 25. Photo Contributed

“We are making every effort across all of our programming to reduce costs where we can.”

—Ashok Karra, the MCC comptroller

The McLean Community Center Governing Board will vote on the Fiscal Year 2015 budget Wednesday, Sept. 25. The board’s financial committee has recommended an increase in tax rate from 2.2 cents to 2.3 cents per $100 of assessed real estate value.

“At the committee’s initial meeting in July, we believed that a 2.2 cent tax rate would allow us to have a balanced budget, but as we got to August, it became apparent that we would have a significant loss with 2.2 cents, so we came back with 2.3 cents,” said Craig Richardson, the center’s treasurer.

The rate had been set at 2.4 cents in Fiscal Year 2009, when it was lowered from 2.8 cents from 1998 to 2008. It was lowered in FY2011 to 2.3 cents, then again in FY2012 to 2.2 cents. This was in part to reduce a large budget surplus.

The committee examined budgets with a 2.2 rate and a 2.3 rate for FY2015, which runs from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. In both cases, projected expenditures are $5,402,075.

The 2.2 cent rate would bring in an estimated $5,156,887, resulting in an operations shortfall of $245,189. The 2.3 cent rate would bring in an estimated $5,333,259, a shortfall of $68,816.

Ashok Karra, the MCC comptroller, said a rate of 2.4 cents per $100 would be needed for expenditures to equal revenues for FY2015.

“We are making every effort across all of our programming to reduce costs where we can,” he said.

Governing board members say they are always working on ways to keep usage fees low while trying to keep the budget close to neutral.

“I think we could see more green in the budget if we were to raise rates, but is that something people want?” said Risa Sanders, a member of the MCC board.

According to Sarah Schallern, Performing Arts director at the Alden Theatre, the theater has an 84 percent utilization rate, and expects to see more revenue this coming year, since last year’s season was cut short due to a renovation.

The actual real estate assessments will not be announced for FY2015 until early 2014 for the first six months of the fiscal year, and early 2014 for the second half of the year. Therefore, all revenues in the proposed budget are projected.

The MCC Governing Board will vote on the budget Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m.