2020-21 budget proposal calls for 0.37% tax levy increase

Superintendent Joseph Natale has proposed a budget to the Board of Education that totals $21.685 million and carries a 0.37% tax increase in the 2020-21 school year.

The overall budget increase of $1.7 million, due mostly to an increase in debt service costs of $1.7 million, was more than offset by an increase in state building aid reimbursement. Without the higher debt costs and building aid, the budget-to-budget increase was a -$276.419 decrease, a 1.4% decrease.

debt service costs, associated with the December 2016 capital project, increased by $1.7 million in the budget. However, building aid from the state increased by budget increase of $1.7 million was virtually covered by the $1.6 million increase in building aid revenue for the December 2016 capital project which is finishing up.

Here is Natale’s presentation. It was virtually presented on Wednesday to the Board of Education.

At this point, voting is scheduled for noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19. There is discussion about moving the date or not having public votes on school budgets this year because of the coronavirus situation.

Natale noted that 59% of the budget goes toward salaries and benefits, 17% goes toward BOCES services and 11% is for debt service.

The budget calls for an additional half-time business teacher, full-time custodian/groundskeeper and maintenance worker as well as a bump in training for custodial/grounds employees and a bus dispatcher upgrade.

Among reductions, a full-time math teacher, $350,000 savings in health insurance and a reduction in painting and transportation projects.