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Sharon Springs school budget would top tax cap

Sharon Springs school budget would top tax cap

A renegotiated tax payment put one Schoharie County school district in a tough position this year.
Sharon Springs school budget would top tax cap
Students participate in a school assembly at Schoharie Elementary, May 28, 2014.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

A renegotiated tax payment put one Schoharie County school district in a tough position this year.

Even though Sharon Springs is cutting its tax levy by 9 percent, it’s not enough to get below the state-imposed property tax cap. As a result, the district’s budget will pass only if at least 60 percent of the voters approve it.

“The district is actually asking for about $90,000 more than the tax levy allows,” said Business Administrator Anthony DiPace.

The additional money will essentially cover a generator project at the K-12 school. The building is the area’s designated emergency shelter, but it has no electrical generator.

School officials also want a generator in case the school loses power in the winter. “There’s fears that if the power is out for several days, we could lose the building,” DiPace said. The project is budgeted to cost $100,000.

The other school districts in northern Schoharie County are meeting the tax cap. Full budgets for all four school districts are posted on dailygazette.com.

On May 19, residents will vote on the budgets, as well as school board candidates. A look at the budgets:

Cobleskill-Richmondville

$38.5 million

Tax levy: increasing by 1.99 percent, $300,000

Spending increase: 2.48 percent, $933,000

Increased spending: health insurance, raises

Increased positions: a teacher, a counselor and a human resources coordinator

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: purchase six buses for $566,000

Middleburgh

$20.8 million

Tax levy: increasing by 2.38 percent, $220,000

Spending increase: 1.67 percent, $341,000

Increased spending: meeting new state requirements for English language learners, independent evaluators required for teacher performance reviews, an increase in enrollment in special education

Increased positions: one teacher for English language learners

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: whether to authorize the sale of 3.2 acres of vacant land on Cotton Hill Road, near the bus garage, and purchase four buses for $360,000

Schoharie

$22.4 million

Tax levy: increasing by 1.31 percent, $123,200

Spending increase: 3.25 percent, $704,600

Increased spending: raises, health insurance, out-of-district tuition

Increased positions: none

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: purchase four buses for $270,000

Sharon Springs

$9.3 million

Tax levy: decreasing by 9 percent, $226,200

Spending increase: 3.7 percent, $286,500

Increased spending: health insurance, raises, generator project

Increased positions: an elementary school teacher, a part-time guidance counselor

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: purchase two buses for $110,000

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