Taconic Hills opts for no hike in school levy

CRARYVILLE—The Taconic Hills School District (THSD) Board of Education considered four budget plans this year, three of which called for various tax levy increases ranging from 0.62% to 1.92% and one plan with no levy increase at all. In the end, the board adopted a proposed budget of slightly more than $38.9 million with 0% tax levy increase for the 2021-2022 school year.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. and school district voters decide whether to approve the budget on Tuesday, May 18. Both the public hearing and election will be held at the THSD Performing Arts Center.

State aid to the district is up $281,777 or 2.26% compared to the current year. Also, THSD receives $512,037 in federal Cares Act Restoration funding. BOCES aid drops considerably by $87,703 or nearly 15.3% while spending on software, library and text books decreases by $5,292 or almost 5%.

In addition to the budget, ballot Proposition #2 asks voters to choose from among three candidates for two open seats on the THSD board. The winning candidates will each serve a five-year term, starting on July 1 of this year. School board President Bonnie Torchia seeks re-election as does incumbent Linda Lee. William Arp, a former board member (2016-19), is the third candidate. All reside in Claverack. Bios and statements from each candidate can be found on THSD’s website, www.taconichills.k12.ny.us

Budget Proposition #3 calls for spending a maximum of $254,000 to purchase two full-size school buses.

Budget Proposition #4 calls for creating a Capital Reserve Fund of up to $5 million effective July 1. Capital Reserve Fund No. 2 would finance capital improvements to school property and buildings as well as the acquisition of furnishings, computers, equipment, machinery and technology.

May 18 voting hours are noon to 9 p.m. Absentee ballot requests must be made at least seven business days before the election. The THSD website also has a tool to check whether a person is listed as a registered voter, https://vip.ntsteamed.com

THSD serves the towns of Copake and Hillsdale, the Village of Philmont and parts of the towns of Ancram, Austerlitz, Claverack, Gallatin, Ghent, Livingston, North East (Dutchess County) and Taghkanic.

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