Hutto ISD trustees approved the district's budget for the 2022-23 school year at a June 23 board meeting.

The approved budget's $110.49 million in operating expenses mark a 14.43% increase over operating expenses in the previous school year's budget.

HISD Chief Financial Officer Glenn Graham said inflation and district growth account for most of that increase.

A district presentation shows the district added 66 new instructional positions for the 2022-23 school year, and trustees previously approved 4% pay raises for all district staff.

Employee salaries account for 78.15% of the budget's expenses at $86.35 million.

"Really, it's about growth in staff and students," Graham said. "Supplies and payroll expenses are your main drivers."

The budget projects $103.85 million in operational revenue, which makes for a deficit of $6.64 million.

However, Graham said that deficit is likely to shrink or even turn into a surplus by the end of the school year due to the way payroll is budgeted.

The amount budgeted for payroll assumes the district is fully staffed for the entire school year, which Graham said is unlikely to really be the case.

"Unless something changes in the market, I don't know if we can ever become fully staffed," Graham said.

The approved budget assumes a tax rate of $1.4029 per $100 valuation, but trustees will not vote on approving the tax rate until August.

The assumed tax rate is broken down into two parts, a $0.9429 maintenance and operations rate used to fund district operations and a $0.46 interest and sinking rate used to pay off bond debt.

$1.4029 is a decrease from the previous school year's rate of $1.4203, but a district presentation states that the average homeowner can expect to pay more than last school year due to rising property valuations.

Should trustees approve a different rate in August, the budget will need to be amended.