Proposed Shen budget hike lowest in 4 years

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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— The Shenendehowa Central School District board on Tuesday night adopted a $156.7 million budget that would raise taxes by $100 a year for a property with a $250,000 market value.

The 2013-14 spending plan carries a tax levy increase of 2.8 percent and an increase in the actual tax rate of 2.29 percent, the lowest hike in four years.

District residents may vote on the budget May 21.

The difference in total spending between this year's budget and next year's is 3.45 percent, and a $3.1 million hike in state pension payments represents the majority of that.

The tax levy falls well under the district's state-imposed tax cap of 5.9 percent.

District officials plan to buy mobile devices for the classroom; hire more teachers in high school algebra, health and Mandarin Chinese; middle school academic intervention in several subjects; and elementary English-as-a-second-language classes.

Student security will be a priority next year too, as the district plans to install systems on doors at the high school, middle schools and district office so visitors would ring a doorbell and staff would press a button to unlock the door.

Before Tuesday, the district had been proposing a $156.1 million budget with an actual average tax rate increase of 3.18 percent, but additional state aid approved in the state budget in late March allowed the district to reduce the tax burden.

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