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:
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
Other items on the ballot: purchase six buses for $566,000
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
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
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
Other items on the ballot: purchase four buses for $270,000
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
Other items on the ballot: purchase two buses for $110,000