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Cayuga County Legislature approves College budget, including a 2 percent increase in county contribution

DATE: 07-25-2012

On July 24, the Cayuga County Legislature approved the College’s 2012-13 budget, which includes a 3.4 percent, or approximately $130 a year, increase in tuition. The 2012-13 annual tuition will be $3,950 for full-time students, and the part-time rate will be $160 per credit. The student fees remain unchanged.

The $32.36 million budget represents a 5.19 percent increase over last year, the result of two things: the new Fulton campus in Oswego County, and 80 percent of the operating expenditures being fixed costs, including such items as heating, electrical, water, insurance, rent, and employee salary and benefit contractual obligations.

“We have done our best to propose a fiscally sound budget that keeps the College moving forward while acknowledging the investment made by Cayuga County taxpayers,” said College President Daniel P. Larson. “We are pleased to see that the County has approved the budget, including an increase in its direct allocation to us. We know from economic impact studies that for every dollar invested in the college, taxpayers will see a return with a cumulative added value of $3.30 in the form of higher tax revenues and avoided social savings costs.”

Legislature approved the College operating budget for 2012-13 with a 2 percent increase—or approximately $56,830—in its local sponsor contribution.  This is the first increase in three years. The total direct contribution by Cayuga County now will be $2,898,345 for 2012-13. 

The College initially sought a 3 percent increase, approximately $85,245, in the direct allocation from Cayuga County.  With this increase, student tuition still will account for 49 percent, or nearly one-half, of our budgeted revenue in 2012-13. Cayuga County will provide 24 percent through a variety of sources, including its direct contribution and charge-back revenue, and the remaining 27 percent will come from New York State in operating and rental aid. 

SUNY community colleges were created on the model of one-third funding each from New York State, our local sponsor, and students. This year, the state restored $150 per full-time equivalent (FTE) in funding, after having cut funding by nearly $2 million over the past three years. The SUNY Community College presidents had lobbied for a $205 per FTE increase for the next five years to bring the state contribution back up to one-third of the operational budgets of community colleges, as it had committed to do when SUNY community colleges were created 40 years ago.

The College expects to draw funds from its fund balance to help cover expenses in the coming year. College officials had to deny $1.5 million in budget requests from managers, and operation expenses are budgeted to be approximately 1 percent higher than last year.

The budget will now go to the State University of New York Board for approval in September.