Tuckahoe voters will go to the polls Tuesday to consider a revised school budget with a more modest increase in spending and the tax levy.
The second vote comes after Tuckahoe residents on May 15, with only 228 voters in favor compared to 275 casting "no" votes. While the first budget included a 1.99 percent increase in the tax levy — the total amount of money raised through property taxes — the revised plan includes a 0.99 tax levy increase.
The new budget proposes $17,654,252 in spending, which is down $157,224 from the original proposal. The School Board removed $73,034 in administrative spending from the failed budget, $49,731 from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade program costs, and $34,460 of capital expenditures.
The revised proposal represents a 3.47 percent spending increase compared to the 2011-12 budget.
Revised Administrative $1,509,019 $1,784,593 $1,711,557 Elementary/Middle School $9,811,783 $10,069,067 $10,019,336 Secondary Ed $4,136,448 $4,370,612 $4,370,612 Capital $1,604,141 $1,587,207 $1,552,747 Total $17,061,391 $17,811,479 $17,654,252
If the budget fails again, and the district is forced to live with a 0 percent tax levy increase, the School Board will be required to slash another $157,258.
"The budget and tax levy increases proposed in this year’s budget are the lowest in the last 10 years," School Board members and Superintendent Chris Dyer wrote in the district's budget brochure. "The Board has responded to the community’s concern over the tax rate increase."
The board said that the amended budget "maintains the instructional priorities set forth in the original proposed budget." Transportation, equipment, supplies and contractual expenses were targeted to achieve savings, according to the board.
The estimated new tax rate under the proposal is $7.225 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 9.37 percent increase. However, the school district points out that tax assessments will not be finalized until the late summer, so the rate is merely a prediction for the time being. Additionally, the effect on individual taxpayers may be higher or lower depending on whether their property assessments have gone up or down in the past year.
Due to declining assessed property values in the district, if the budget fails on June 19, a flat tax levy would still result in an estimated tax rate increase of 6.10 percent.
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Districts voters are also being asked again to vote on a proposition to expend $465,000 from the capital reserve fund to replace deteriorating heating pipes. When the proposition was put to a vote in May, it failed, but a voting machine malfunction was later discovered; one of the machines had failed to register any "yes" votes for the proposition. Because the funds would come from the district's accumulated savings, the proposition does not affect the 2012-13 tax levy or tax rate.
The fund was established by voter approval in 2007 and has since accumulated $981,078, according to the district.
Voting will take place at the gymnasium on Tuesday, June 19, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.