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School District Budgeting

Frequently Asked Questions

1) When will the School District Budget Forms and LC-2 Form and Attachments be available?

2) When are the School District Budget and LC-2 Forms due?

3) Where are the forms filed?

4) What specific forms and materials are filed?

5) Do I have to file all of those forms?

6) Why do I have to file a budget?

7) What is the School District Budget Form?

8) The School District Budget Form reflects the total amount of receipts and expenditures. Where do I show the detail for arriving at these totals?

9) Where do I find the information to complete the School District Budget Form?

10) Is there a maximum percentage increase on the property tax request in the General Fund?

11) Is there a limit on the cash balance I can carry forward?

12) What is Schedule A?

13) What is Schedule B?

14) What is Schedule C?

15) What is Schedule D?

16) What do you mean by the statutory maximum levy plus exclusions?

17) If the statutory maximum levy is $1.05, how can a local system have a total levy of $1.20?

18) What is the maximum levy in the Special Building Fund?

19) What is the maximum levy in the Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund?

20) What is the Certification of Taxable Value?

21) How many days in advance of the hearing should the Notice of Budget Hearing and Budget Summary be published?

22) If my Notice of Budget Hearing and Budget Summary is published on Thursday may I hold the hearing on the following Monday?

23) How many board members are required to be in attendance to hold this public hearing?

24) How many board members must vote "yes" to adopt a budget?

25) Is the vote to adopt the Budget taken during the Hearing?

26) We held a successful override to the levy limitation. What information and forms are required to be filed with the School District Budget Form?

27) What is the last day to hold a budget hearing?

28) How many hearings do I need to hold?

29) Is the Sample Ballot and Election Results for an election to exceed the expenditure limitation the same ballot and election results for overriding the levy limitation?

30) What is the Budget Form Lid Computation?

31) How does the school district or state officials know if these limitations have been exceeded?

32) What happens if either of these situations occurs?

33) What is the Special Grant Fund List?

 

1) When will the School District Budget Forms and LC-2 Form and Attachments be available?

The documents are available on or before July 1 of each year on the Auditor of Public Accounts website and the Finance & Organizational Services/School District Budgeting website.

2) When are the School District Budget and LC-2 Forms due?

On or before September 20 of each calendar year.

3) Where are the forms filed?

With the Auditor of Public Accounts, the County Clerk and the Nebraska Department of Education.

4) What specific forms and materials are filed?

  • School District Budget Form (Cover Page through Page 5)
  • Schedule A
  • Schedule B
  • Schedule C
  • Schedule D
  • Certification of Taxable Value
  • Notice of Budget Hearing and Budget Summary
  • Affidavit of Publication of Notice of Budget Hearing and Budget Summary
  • Election Ballot and Certified Election Returns for Levy Override
  • Budget Form LC-2 Lid Computation (LC-2)
  • Special Grant Fund List
  • Sample Ballot and Certification of Election Results for election to exceed expenditure lid

5) Do I have to file all of those forms?

No, you only file the forms applicable to your school district. For example: school districts that have held a levy override need to file that election information. School districts that hold a special election to exceed the expenditure limitation would file that information. The Special Grant Fund List is only filed if applicable.

6) Why do I have to file a budget?

Filing a budget gives the school district the authority to tax and the authority to spend money.

7) What is the School District Budget Form?

The School District Budget Form comes from the Auditor of Public Accounts and consists of Pages 1-5. This is the form that provides the school district with the authority to tax and the authority to spend money. The information on the School District Budget Form reflects one year of actual receipts and expenditures (history), the actual/estimated receipts and expenditures for the current school fiscal year, and the proposed receipts and expenditures for the next school fiscal year.

8) The School District Budget Form reflects the total amount of receipts and expenditures. Where do I show the detail for arriving at these totals?

A set of forms called Worksheet Pages is available from the Auditor of Public Accounts website. These Pages reflect the detail of the receipts and expenditures. You are not required to file these Pages. The Pages are useful in developing a budget.  The Pages also provide information you can use (if you choose) at your Board Work Sessions.

9) Where do I find the information to complete the School District Budget Form?

There are numerous sources of information. Examples of a few sources are the internal financial records of the school district, the prior year's budget, or the most recently available Annual Financial Report and School District Audit.

10) Is there a maximum percentage increase on the property tax request in the General Fund?

No, there is no minimum or maximum increase. However, the $1.05 levy limit does place a maximum on the levy that a school can ask for in property tax for the combination of the General, Special Building and for non-bond expenditures in the Qualified Purpose Undertaking Fund.

11) Is there a limit on the cash balance I can carry forward?

No, there is no limit on the cash balance (cash on hand, investments and county treasurer's balance) carried forward from one budget year to the next.

There is a limit on the budgeted cash reserves (General Fund Necessary Cash Reserve, Depreciation Fund Total Requirements and Employee Benefit Fund Necessary Cash Reserve). The budgeted cash reserves do not apply to the cash on hand deposit at a bank. The maximum dollar amount of this limit is calculated on the LC-2.

12) What is Schedule A?

This is the Schedule that reports the dollar amount of additional exclusions to the expenditure limitation. The total of these additional exclusions is reported on the LC-2. These additional exclusions include:

  • Repairs to Infrastructure Damaged by a Natural Disaster
  • Judgments Not Covered by Liability Insurance
  • Distance Education Courses
  • Voluntary Termination Agreements
  • Retirement Contribution Increase

13) What is Schedule B?

This Schedule reports the exclusions to the levy limitation.  The funds under the levy lmitation and the exclusions to the levy limitation are:

  • General Fund: Voluntary termination agreements, judgments not paid by liability insurance, only lease-purchase contracts approved between July 1, 1997 and July 1, 1998, and bond principal and interest.
    • Does not include the repayment of principal, premium, or interest on general obligation funds issued for insurance premium costs and the payment of all costs and expenses associated with membership in a risk management pool that are effective after April 2, 2008.
  • Bond Fund: Bond principal and interest.
    • Does not include the repayment of principal, premium, or interest on general obligation funds issued for insurance premium costs and the payment of all costs and expenses associated with membership in a risk management pool that are effective after April 2, 2008.
  • Special Building Fund: Projects commenced prior to April 1, 1996, only lease-purchase contracts approved between July 1, 1997 and July 1, 1998.
  • Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund: Bond principal and interest.

14) What is Schedule C?

This Schedule is a worksheet for a school district to determine if the school district is within the statutory maximum levy.

15) What is Schedule D?

This Schedule reports detailed contract costs for the district superintendent.

16) What do you mean by the statutory maximum levy plus exclusions?

The statutory maximum levy is $1.05 plus exclusions. Exclusions are specific amounts that are outside of the levy limitation.  The sum of the levies in each taxing fund (excluding principal and interest in the Bond Fund and Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund ) may not exceed $1.05 plus exclusions.

17) If the statutory maximum levy is $1.05, how can a local system have a total levy of $1.20?

There are exclusions to the maximum levy limitation called levy exclusions that allow a school to levy more than the maximum levy. These exclusions are:

  • Voluntary Termination Agreements with Certificated Employees
  • Special Building Fund Projects Started prior to April 1, 1996
  • Judgments Not Covered by Liability Insurance
  • Lease-Purchase Contracts (Approved Prior to July 1, 1998)
  • Bonded Indebtedness Approved According to Law and Secured by a Levy on Property.

When these exclusions are used, the total levy may be greater than $1.05. A local system may also have held an election to exceed the levy limitation. The ballot from the election will state the maximum levy and the duration of the levy.

18) What is the maximum levy in the Special Building Fund?

School districts have a maximum of 14¢ or 17.5¢ with a vote of their patrons.  These maximum levies fall under the $1.05 statutory maximum levy.

19) What is the maximum levy in the Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund?

School districts have a maximum of 5.2¢.  This levy is part of the $1.05 statutory maximum levy, unless the 5.2¢ is levied to retire bond principal and interest.

20) What is the Certification of Taxable Value?

This is the form received from the county assessor on or before August 20 that reports the assessed value of the school district. If you have valuation in more than one county, each county assessor will send a Certification. A Certification of Taxable Value for School District Bonds will be received by school districts that have bonded indebtedness. This is the valuation that is taxed to repay the bonded indebtedness.

21) How many days in advance of the hearing should the Notice of Budget Hearing and Budget Summary be published?

The Notice must be published 5 days in advance of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the district.

22) If my Notice of Budget Hearing and Budget Summary is published on Thursday may I hold the hearing on the following Monday?

Yes. The Auditor of Public Accounts provides the day the notice is published and the day of the hearing may be included in the count of 5 days.

23) How many board members are required to be in attendance to hold this public hearing?

A quorum of the board is necessary to hold this public hearing.

24) How many board members must vote "yes" to adopt a budget?

An affirmative vote of a majority of the board members in attendance.

25) Is the vote to adopt the Budget taken during the Hearing?

No. The published agenda for a scheduled board meeting should include an item for the board to vote to adopt the Budget. The board meeting may be scheduled after the hearing is adjourned, or the board meeting may be scheduled on another day.

26) We held a successful override to the levy limitation. What information and forms are required to be filed with the School District Budget Form?

A copy of the ballot and the results of the election should be attached to the School District Budget Form. 

27) What is the last day to hold a budget hearing?

To assure the School District Budget Form is mailed in sufficient time to meet the filing deadline, the last day to hold a hearing and board meeting to adopt the budget would be September 19.

28) How many hearings do I need to hold?

School districts will hold 2 hearings: (1) A hearing on the proposed budget; and (2) A hearing on the property tax request.  If the budget is amended later in the year, the district will also need to hold a hearing to amend the budget.

29) Is the Sample Ballot and Election Results for an election to exceed the expenditure limitation the same ballot and election results for overriding the levy limitation?

Yes, if the election to exceed to override the levy limitation and the election to exceed the expenditure limitation are held at the same time.

30) What is the Budget Form Lid Computation?

This form is commonly referred to as the LC-2. The LC-2 is an online collection on the NDE Portal that calculates whether or not the school district has exceeded the expenditure limitation or the allowable reserve limitation.

31) How does the school district or state officials know if these limitations have been exceeded?

The LC-2 online system through the NDE Portal will display an error message if the school district has exceeded the expenditure limitation or the allowable reserve limitation.

32) What happens if either of these situations occurs?

The school district would need to reduce the total General Fund Budget of Disbursements and Transfers to stay within the expenditure limitation; and the school district would need to reduce one of the components of the Allowable Reserves to stay within the allowable reserve limitation.

33) What is the Special Grant Fund List?

Each year the State Board of Education approves a list of grants that are classified as Special Grant Funds.  Special Grant Funds are outside of the expenditure limitation. The Special Grant Fund List is completed through the LC-2 online system by reporting the amount of monies expected to be received from any of the grants listed.

Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bill Biven: (402) 471-0526 or bill.biven@nebraska.gov

Updated on 09/02/2014