Proposed Cobleskill-Richmondville school budget exceeds cap

The Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District will require broad support from voters in order

The Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District will require broad support from voters in order for a 4.54 percent tax levy increase to meet with requirements of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap, Superintendent Lynn Macan said this week.

The district’s Board of Education is sending a $35.28 million budget proposal to voters next month and the spending plan needs “supermajority” approval because it doesn’t meet the state’s threshold.

The spending plan would come with no staff cuts, preserve current programming and bring back sports and music programs that were cut last year. A public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 at the Golding Middle School in Cobleskill.

“The goal of the board was not to impact any people,” Macan said.

The budget would bring back the districtwide strings music program and restore modified sports, boys’ and girls’ tennis, bowling, varsity golf, and boys’ volleyball.

Additional aid approved in the state budget and savings from debt refinancing were factors that helped to maintain staffing and programming, Macan said.

She said an earlier draft called for an 11 percent tax levy hike. That increase was whittled down to 5.9 percent and then 4.54 percent with the help of $406,381 in education aid in the recently passed state budget, more than $119,000 in state aid than anticipated.

Details on the 2012-13 proposal, outlined on the district’s website, show the tax levy would increase by $640,368, to $14,745,393.

Macan said if 60 percent of voters don’t approve the plan, roughly $300,000 will have to be cut to get the budget in line with a tax levy increase of 2.72 percent — the maximum allowed by the state with exclusions for such expense as employee pension contributions taken into account. That 2.72 percent increase would then have to be approved by more than 50 percent of voters in a June 19 vote.

The district has enjoyed strong support for its budgets in the past, but Macan said it’s been a while since the district had 60-percent approval from voters.

“We’re obviously hopeful. We have had pretty good support for the budget,” Macan said.

Details can be found on the district’s website,

Categories: Schenectady County

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