Sharon Springs school budget calls for 2 percent tax levy hike

Thursday, April 19, 2012
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— Programs and staffing would remain unchanged in the 2012-13 school year under an $8.65 million budget proposal approved by the Sharon Springs Central School District’s Board of Education.

District Business Manager Tony DiPace said the $8,645,264 budget represents a spending increase of 2.86 percent. The tax levy, proposed at $2,500,586, reflects an increase of 2 percent over the current budget, which puts the district in compliance with the state’s tax cap.

Exact tax rates won’t be known until the state sets equalization rates., but the district is projecting a 2 percent increase in tax rates under the proposal.

According to information provided by DiPace, tax rates could increase 40 to 80 cents per $1,000 assessed value in the towns of Root and Cherry Valley, where the current tax rate is $20.20 per $1,000. School taxes on a $50,000 home under those estimates would increase from $1,010 to $1,030.

Taxes are projected to increase 52 cents per $1,000 in Carlisle, Seward and Sharon, 67 cents in Canajoharie and 84 cents in Roseboom.

The district had to cut two positions in the elementary school last year when formulating the current budget in the face of a state education aid cut of $59,515. But this year the district is receiving a $136,570 increase in state aid, DiPace said, making it less difficult to comply with the state’s tax cap.

“It certainly helped, that’s for sure,” DiPace said of the added aid.

The tiny school district is seeing an increase in the number of students, with 340 expected next year, following reductions in enrollments over the last several years. DiPace said the enrollment numbers appear to be stabilizing after increases in elementary school students.

The district’s small size has enabled it to hang onto unique programs considered important, including agriculture and business departments. “We’re pretty fortunate to be able to do those things as a small school,” he said.

District residents on May 15 will also vote on one expiring seat on the Board of Education. Board of Education president James MacFadden is running for re-election, DiPace said.



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