Taconic Hills adopts $32M budget proposal

CRARYVILLE–The Taconic Hills Board of Education has adopted a proposed budget for the 2010-11 school year that includes a tax levy increase of 4.89%.

The $32,046,466 budget, which still must win the approval of a majority of district voters, comes with a tax levy increase a whole percentage point higher than the figure of 3.89% that schools Superintendent Mark Sposato had deemed “acceptable” in the months leading up to the board’s April 21 vote on the plan.

School districts all around the state are anticipating huge cuts in state aid because of the state’s deficit. The situation has become more confusing because lawmakers and the governor have not yet agreed on a state budget, which determines the actual amount of school aid. The state budget is now more than a month overdue.

At Taconic Hills, district officials expect to see a state aid reduction of $2 million in the next school year. As a result, the district plans to cut 47.8 positions for a total estimated savings of $2,705,255.

At this week’s board meeting school board President Robert Morales was asked why the tax levy came in higher than expected. “We didn’t have the money. In this district we have no commercial base. It’s always the homeowners who take the brunt of the taxes,” he said, adding, We cut $4 million or taxes would have been higher. We did it as fairly as we could.”

A public hearing on the budget will take place Tuesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. at the school.

The vote on the budget is May 18. In addition to the budget, the ballot will include a proposition requesting permission to spend $203,000 to replace buses.

District residents may register to vote in school elections if they are not already registered to vote here; registration forms are available at the district office in Craryville any day the school is open.

Also on the May 18 ballot are the names of candidates for two seats on the Board of Education. The candidates are incumbent Tom Bailey, David Luck, Kevin Maisenbacher, incumbent Scott Decker, and Joseph Costa.

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