The Smithtown Central School District presented "Tier One" of its proposal to eliminate the $4.1 million deficit its facing for the 2013-14 school year during Tuesday night's first budget hearing.
The $4.1 million deficit is the result of having $227.06 million in expenditures and $222.96 million in revenue, according to the district's latest estimations.
Superintendent Anthony Annunziato introduced 14 possible areas for savings Tuesday, providing information on these options to the Board of Education to see where they would make reductions to cut down the deficit.
If all 14 proposed reductions were approved by the board the deficit would be reduced by an estimated $2.5 million, leaving roughly $1.6 million of the deficit left to account for.
Some of the larger savings areas include $620,000 in attrition and retirement, $365,000 in the reduction of five full-time middle school employees, $360,000 in the reduction of four full-time elementary school employees due to declining enrollment, and $300,000 from the cancellation of the literacy program.
Having to face possible program and staff reductions does not sit well with Annunziato.
"It's terrible, I don't want to cut anything. We should be building programs, not dismantling them," he said.
During the presentation the district also proposed to use $500,000 from the Workers' Compensation Reserve and $770,000 from the EBALR Reserve to assist in bringing the deficit down to $4.1 million.
While the district presented its deficit reducing options to the board, an option that was also presented was piercing the tax cap, something Annunziato is leery of doing.
"It's still a sluggish economy. People are still hurting," he said. "It's not like you can go into every year and say we're going to pierce the cap. At some point you do saturate your tax base, and I think in this community we're pretty close."
Tiers two and three of the reduction plan will be revealed at the March 5 budget meeting, held in the Joseph M. Barton Building at 7 p.m. Annunziato also said after Tuesday's meeting that he also hopes to have a five-year budget projection prepared for his March 5 presentation.