The Board of Finance issued a preliminary fiscal year 2020 (FY20) \u201cbudget guidance\u201d with increases of 2% for the Board of Selectmen\u2019s operating and capital budget and 1.6% for the Board of Education budget at its meeting on Oct. 16. \u201cWe should explain what budget guidance is,\u201d said board member Walter Kress. \u201cBudget guidance doesn\u2019t mean how much you can spend. It means what the town can afford, and should be built from the bottom up.\u201d In determining the budget guidance figures the finance board is recommending to the town and the schools, the board took into account declining school enrollment, property taxes, property values, and the property revaluation. The board is aiming for a 1.32% increase to the mill rate for the 2020 fiscal year. However, that number is preliminary and there are still unknown factors, such as fluctuations to the grand list and interest rates. \u201cWe do not yet know the pricing of existing assets. We\u2019ll know more when we get to budget discussions,\u201d said board member Peter Balderston. Last year, for the first time, the finance board issued different budget increase guidance percentage to the boards \u2014 1.5% for the Board of Selectmen and 1.0% for the Board of Education. Because it considers the town and school budgets distinct, the board decided to issue different guidance percentages again this year. \u201cBased on the numbers available, this is the right thing to do,\u201d said finance board chair Jeff Rutishauser. Balderston commended Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice for \u201cturning over every rock,\u201d when it comes to budgeting for the town. \u201cBut, I can\u2019t say the same necessarily for the schools yet,\u201d he said. The board acknowledged that Wilton\u2019s per pupil expenditure is \u201cgood\u201d compared to other districts. Board member Richard Creeth explained that with declining enrollment, the cost per pupil goes up by a greater percentage automatically because fixed costs don\u2019t go down. \u201cDuring increasing enrollment you look more efficient even if you\u2019re not and in declining enrollment you look less efficient even if you\u2019re not,\u201d he said. He said it\u2019s important to know overall meaningful numbers before drawing any conclusions. \u201cAs we know more, we may have better visibility into revenues and educational cost sharing to consider,\u201d he said.