KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane school board adopted a $22-million tax levy last week. That’s the amount the district will collect from the property tax this year after district voters approved the $39-million 2017-18 school year budget in May.
The tax levy amount is a 1.47% increase over last year’s, which is less than the state mandated property tax cap. The tax rate is $17.96 per thousand dollars of assessed value, down slightly from last year.
At the August 22 meeting, district Business Manager Michael Brennan presented the board with the numbers and a chart showing the “taxable assessed value” of properties in the seven towns that make up the district. Most of the properties that pay school taxes are in Kinderhook, which has 3,776 parcels; there are also 1,072 properties in Stuyvesant and 842 in Stockport. There are few hundred each in Chatham, Ghent and Schodack, and only 65 parcels in Nassau.
Mr. Brennan stressed that the tax rate could be different in each town depending on the assessed value of the property within the town’s boundaries. He said each town has its own assessor who sets the value of properties in the town. “What the assessments come out as, that’s in the town’s hands,” he told the board.
Superintendent Michael Vanyo also made that point, saying of town assessments, “No school can control that.”
There is no penalty on tax payments received before September 30. Between October 1 and 30, there is a 2% penalty. Collection of taxes will begin on September 1, according to the motion the board passed.
The board also approved the Code of Conduct and the Attendance Policy for the new school year. Though the board passed the two policies so the information could be sent to parents before school begins, there was some discussion about the attendance policy, which states that students can lose class credit for a certain amount of absences. Mr. Vanyo thought that was not legal under state law, but said he would look into that with the district’s attorney. The board could amend the Attendance Policy at a later meeting.
As for the long-term issue of attendance, Mr. Vanyo said the district administrators will look into what students are missing what classes. He said the district would work at improving the attendance rate since it does effect the district’s graduation rate.
The board held a public hearing on the updated Code of Conduct and Attendance Policy during the meeting. There was only one comment from the public about the attendance policy. The updated policies are normally posted on the district website, according to the board clerk, but they were not this year. The documents are available in the district’s central office.
At the start of the meeting, the board appointed high school senior Jessica Alessi to serve as the student representative on the Board of Education. High school Principal Craig Shull said that Jessica was recommended by both teachers and students for the non-voting position on the board.
Mr. Vanyo said that he met with Mr. Shull and Jessica the day before the meeting to talk about her schedule. He said he would like to appoint an alternate in case Jessica could not make a meeting due to her classes and her track team schedule. He said that if she had an important test the next day, he didn’t want Jessica to feel pressure to attend a meeting. The board agreed to finding an alternate student representative if Jessica can’t make a meeting.
Mr. Vanyo congratulated Jessica after she was sworn in by the board clerk. “That’s a big commitment,” he told her of being the student representative.
The next board meeting is Tuesday, September 12 at 7 p.m. in the High School Library.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email